Three doctors are working on developing a cannabis and nitric oxide product to prevent COVID-19

Cannabis and COVID-19?

Can CBD and nitric oxide prevent the spread of COVID-19?

That’s the question three Thompson Rivers University researchers want to answer.

Doctors Joanna Urban, John Church, and Kingsley Donkor are working toward the development of an antiviral nasal spray and mouthwash using CBD extracts, terpenes (a type of organic compound) and nitric oxide.

"We're finding the perfect formulation," says Dr. John Church.

The research group says it might be a while before a vaccine is released, so this preventative measure could make a huge difference in the spread of the virus.

"Let's block the virus from entering our bodies," Church continues. "We want to block cell entry and but also wipe the virus out so it can't gain a foothold in our bodies."

"Additionally, cannabanoids and nitric oxide have the anti-inflammatory effect, so they prevent inflammation," Dr. Urban notes. 

For people who dislike synthetic chemicals, the trio hopes to make the end product as natural as possible.

"It's going to be safe, because most of the reagents that are going to be involved in this project have all been regarded as safe through Health Canada. Be it a nasal spray or the mouthwash, it should be safe for humans to apply," adds Dr. Donkor.

Dr. Church says the nasal spray and mouthwash would be most effective for those who are unable to physical distance.

"People could take the nasal spray or gargle before the start of the shift and then when they're done after they could take that before they go home for their families," Church explains. "I really see this as being effective for our front line workers."

"So many of the mortalities, a big percentage, has actually been the front line workers that put their life on the line. So I imagine, wouldn't it be great if you've got people in the ICU and either the nurses or the doctors could take a couple shots up their nose and a gargle and we believe it would give you very effective coverage at the start of the shift and at the end of the shift before they go home."

The doctors say if they can come up with the right formula soon, they could have this product in people's pockets between 6 months to a year.

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