In the context of the coronavirus crisis, researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology are testing the therapeutic potential of cannabis terpenes. During previous severe coronavirus outbreaks, such as those caused by the SARS coronavirus in 2002-2003, researchers found that cannabis terpenes reduced disease severity and impact in both in-vitro and in-vivo. In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Medical Chemistry, Chinese scientists concluded that the terpenes blocked a certain protein that allows the virus to replicate its genetic material.
Meiri and colleagues hope that the terpenes might modulate the effect of cytokine storms –– the overreaction of the body’s immune system that can cause complications and multiple organ failure. The novel formulation is designed to be administered by direct inhalation.