Upon first opening my inbox, I started scrolling through all of the cannabis newsletters I’m subscribed to. Most of today’s (April 20, 2020) cannabis newsletters sent out — on this stoner holiday — were sales coupons.

After opening the iCAN Weekly Newsletter, the third headline JUMPED out at me titled, “Israeli Hospital to Begin Treating Virus Patients with Cannabis.”

This short update essentially said they will start giving medical cannabis to coronavirus patients due to the antiviral components of cannabis. Immediately I started doing research.

What exactly are the worldwide cannabis industry leaders in Israel thinking when looking at the properties of cannabis — specifically CBD (cannabidiol) — for coronavirus?

After spending some time trying to find and understand the specific technical mechanisms for how CBD could help coronavirus patients return to normal, I started finding some interesting information. What I found was that the researchers at the Ichilov Medical Center were investigating CBD as a potential to slow down various processes to help patients return normal function. The senior anesthesiologist and the head of the department of Corona management, Dr. Barak Cohen, told the Jewish Press, that this approach is meant to calm some of the symptoms and all the patients potentially return back to normal. Dr. Cohen stressed they were using only parts of the cannabis plant that are not addictive and safe. 

What do naturopathic doctors say about using CBD for viruses?

CBD Testers reports a little bit more detail about some of the various anecdotal information potentials between cannabis and viruses. 

They go on to report that a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Shawn Meirovici, says CBD and other cannabinoids can help pain return to normal, allow sleep to return to normal, and several other areas can return to proper function. 

How are Israeli companies using CBD for COVID-19?

Another Israeli based company InnoCan Pharma, in partnership with Tel Aviv University’s technology transfer arm Ramot, are working in tandem to find solutions for COVID-19 by using exosomes and adding CBD to these exosomes.

After loading exosomes with CBD, they are then able to target specific parts of the body and precisely time a controlled dosage release of CBD.

On April 6, 2020, InnoCan Pharma filed a patent for CBD delivery by exosomes that are designed to target lung cells infected with Coronavirus, as well as targeting Central Nervous System (CNS) disease.

Stated on their website, these exosomes loaded with CBD have the potential to have a highly synergistic effect to help the infected lung cells return to normal function.

This new approach will most likely be administered via inhaling the cannabinoids.

After inhalation, the exosomes target the improperly functioning lung tissues caused by a coronavirus and help the cell return to normal function.

What exactly are exosomes?

According to InnoCan Pharma, exosomes are extremely tiny particles that get created when stem cells multiply.

Published in the medical journal The Open Virology Journal (Open Virol J.), they go into extensive detail about what exosomes are, their biogenesis, and biological function in responding to viral infections.

After reading through this medical journal and attempting to understand the highlights, I found that exosomes were very technical and even the introductory explanation was still quite challenging to quickly understand. 

One quick explanation from Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) says exosomes are little fluid-filled sacs that transport genetic information (and other things) between cells that are either nearby or far away.

Various companies are using this understanding and “hijacking” the abilities of exosomes and using them to transport various drugs to other specific parts of the body that are typically very challenging to reach otherwise. 

How do exosomes work with viruses?

Since exosomes are known to transport genetic information from cell to cell, the exact mechanism of exosomes is shown to transport antiviral information between cells and much more. 

Once transporting this information between cells, the host cell shares immunity information against various pathogens (virus, bacterium, and other microorganisms causing disease).

Watch the interview with InnoCan Pharma CEO Iris Bincovich

In this interview, they start off by discuss how people don’t die directly from the COVID-19 virus, instead, people typically die from the circumstances and the secondary complications.

Circumstances and secondary complications include inflammation, respiratory failure, and secondary infections.

Their solution, explains Bincovich, has the potential to of providing anti-inflammatory effects in cell recovery.

They’re doing this via exosomes. She explains that exosomes are created when cells multiply. The unique properties of exosomes can act as target missiles directed at damaged organs to help them recover.

The first phase involves lab production of exosomes loaded with CBD.

Phase two is proof of concept in animals. Next is safety with activity in the body.

How everything rolls out will depend on authority and regulations.

According to the CDC director, the second wave of COVID will potentially occur in the winter.

This second wave will potentially have a much stronger resistance.

Professor Daniel Offen work in Tel Aviv is highly experience in molecular biology with a concentration in cell and gene therapy.

He’s specializing in neutral/generic diseases.

Also a co-found of another biotech company developing therapeutics for the central nervous system.

The other project they’re working on targeting Alzheimer and epilepsy.

They have scans of healthy brains, as well as scans of brains with Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.

What they found in these scans are the exosomes have a tendency to concentrate on the damaged cells.

How will exosomes that are loaded with CBD help COVID-19?

InnoCann Pharma has been developing all sorts of cannabinoid-based products, beginning with the focus on CBD integrated dermal (skin) pharmaceuticals.

They have several patent-pending cannabinoid technologies for pain relief products, and treatments for respiratory disease, and others. 

Recently, InnoCann has signed an exclusive worldwide agreement with The Hebrew University Of Jerusalem to develop a CBD that you can inject.

This injectable CBD is said to be as simple to inject as an insulin shot. A long-term primary goal of InnoCann is to integrate the large range of potential uses of the various cannabinoids to target specific cells to help coronavirus patients return to normal function. 

Since the patents were just filed earlier this month, a lot more research is required before moving into the clinical trial phase and then mass production and recommendations for humans worldwide.