Cannabis And COVID-19: Caflanone, A Flavonoid Extracted From A Distinct Cannabis Strain Could be A Therapeutic Drug Against the COVID-19
According to researchers from Harvard Medical School, Northeastern University, Concordia University of Wisconsin and Vilotos Pharmaceuticals Inc, Caflanone (FBL-03G) a flavonoid extracted from a rare strain of cannabis found in Jamaica called Black Swan could hold therapeutic properties to treat COVID-19.
The research findings were published in the journal : Molecule. https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/11/2707
The research also involved the study of 4 other phytochemicals.
In the molecular docking study involving the spike proteins on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, it was found that the flavonoid Caflanone could bind with high affinity to the spike protein, helicase, and protease sites on the ACE2 receptor causing conformational change to inhibit viral entry of coronaviruses.
Interestingly, the structurally diverse caflanone also interacts within the catalytic site of ACE2 receptors and makes multiple favorable interactions with Glu375, Glu402 that coordinates with ZN, Phe274, and Arg273.
Vitro study results for caflanone show potential to inhibit virus entry factors including, ABL-2, cathepsin L, cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, Mip-1α, TNF-α), and PI4Kiiiβ, as well as AXL-2, which facilitates mother-to-fetus transmission of coronavirus.
The researchers are also exploring using special nanodrones to enhance the delivery of the flavonoid to the correct sites in the body. Smart nanodrones can enhance the bioavailability of these phytomedicines and could allow the ability for image guided targeting and monitoring. The flavonoids can be encapsulated in the nanodrones using microfluidic approaches or can be conjugated as targeting moieties.
The flavonoid research has attracted the attention of the US CDC, NIH and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Caflanone has already been used in the pharmaceutical and medical industry for a variety of purposes.
There are studies showing its use to treat metastatic pancreatic cancer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6663976/
Caflanone has already received US FDA approval as an Orphan Drug to treat pancreatic cancer and is also being explored for numerous other therapeutic properties especially as an antiviral.
The research team is next planning to conduct vivo animal model studies to test the efficacy of Caflanone against the SARCoV-2 coronavirus which causes the deadly COVID-19 disease.
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