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Jamaican scientists close to creating affordable hepatitis C drug from ganja


Posted in: Regional News | 13 February 2017 | 204

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    Research scientists, led by Dr Henry Lowe, say they have discovered properties in Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major bioactive compounds in the cannabis (ganja) plant, that have the potential to provide affordable treatment as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals for hepatitis C.

    “We report here for the first time n vitro studies to demonstrate the antiviral activity of CBD against HCV,” Dr Lowe and his research team —Jamaican Wayne McLaughlin and Cameroonian Dr Ngeh Toyang — state in their published study, adding that Cannabidiol was shown to have activity against HCV in vitro but not against hepatitis B virus (HBV).

    On Friday, Lowe, who is known worldwide for his anti-cancer and ganja research, as well as the production of a range of nutraceuticals using Jamaican plants, said that the discovery is a major development.

    “This is a new discovery which has fantastic potential for the future, especially for people in developing countries, because there is a drug which was developed for hepatitis C treatment, but it’s over US$85,000 per treatment and very few people in the developing world can afford this,” he said. “So it is very important that we find less expensive means of treatment, and that is why this discovery and its potential to manage this disease is so important.” (Jamaica Observer)

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