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PRELIMINARY RESEARCH SUGGESTS CANNABINOIDS CAN HELP PREVENT SPREAD OF COVID | TRICHOMES Morning Buzz

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May 18, 2020

The Morning Buzz presented by TRICHOMES brings you late-breaking news that tells you what’s happening within the cannabis industry.

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Happy Mondays all around, especially if your business is one of those thriving in a covid-reality, some preliminary scientific results indicate the claims of cannabis’ positive impact on the coronavirus might not be so far-fetched, and some more research has been released that could have states reconsidering pausing legalization efforts if they want to increase those tourism dollars.

** A Hemp Based Wood Startup is Gaining Market Traction During the Pandemic

A story from Hemp Industry Daily says, it’s no easy time to start a business, and a Kentucky startup looking to turn hemp fibers into wood has had it worse than many.

Which makes it odd that company founder Gregory Wilson is all smiles when talking about prospects for his company, called Fibonacci.

First, the company had to spend more than a year fighting tariffs on some Chinese-made equipment needed to press the fibrous planks.

Then, like many new companies, the new entity bought booths at trade shows in both the hemp and flooring industries to start taking orders – just in time for the pandemic to shutter live events worldwide.

But the coronavirus pandemic has slowed growth considerably – from canceled trade shows to stay-at-home orders slowing production. Fibonacci has instead pivoted to focus on online sales and has seen demand grow far beyond the flooring industry. Fibonacci’s expanded products include picture frames, wood-turning blocks, tables, and desks.

“We’re selling stuff all over the world,” Wilson said. “We need to just continue to follow the business plan and continue to provide not only the high-quality product but the experience and the story that goes along with it,” he added.

He also said he’s aiming to make his flooring cost about what oak flooring does by 2021, noting that hemp fiber can be had for $100 to $200 a ton.

Wilson is scouting new manufacturing locations in other U.S. states, along with Poland and Canada, and sees growth potential as the pandemic passes and new markets open.

He doesn’t seem worried that some other unexpected global crisis could upend his company’s plans. After all, he’s already overcome some pretty big ones.

“Oh, in the hemp industry, everything’s crazy,” he said.

** Scientists are Exploring Cannabis Extracts as Potential Preventative COVID Therapy

A study published online in Preprints suggests that cannabis extractions containing THC and CBD could help prevent the coronavirus from spreading to and infecting humans.

According to Ganjapreneur, The study, which was conducted under a Health Canada research license, demonstrated that the cannabinoids could lower the production of two proteins — angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) and the serine protease TMPRSS2 — which are commonly hacked by the coronavirus to create a new infection.

“Cannabis sativa, especially one high in the anti-inflammatory cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been proposed to modulate gene expression and inflammation and harbour anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties,” the study authors wrote.

The researchers did not posit cannabis extracts as a potential cure or solution for the ongoing pandemic but said that the extracts could be useful as an “adjunct therapy” in combating the virus’s spread.

Ultimately, the study, while an exciting development, is accompanied by many caveats, including the fact that all research published in Preprints has not been peer-reviewed — the online platform is essentially a database for researchers to quickly share their findings and therefore does not carry the same weight as a peer-reviewed study.

An excerpt from the study on Preprints.org reads: “While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is crucial for the future analysis of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19. … Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.”

It is also possible that the extracts used in the study contained more than just the cannabinoids THC and CBD (such as terpenes and other, rarer cannabinoids) and that those potential substances could also have played a role in the cells’ down-regulation.

** Another New Study Shows that Legal Cannabis Boosted Hotel Bookings

According to Marijuana Moment, Colorado hotel room rentals increased considerably after the state began legal cannabis sales, a newly published study reveals. Washington State also saw increases in tourism after legalization, though the effect there was more modest.

The study, titled “(Pot)Heads in Beds: The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Hotel Occupancy in Colorado and Washington,” was published online last week and appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Regional Policy and Analysis.

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