Connect with us

Cannabis

Is BCG The Next Vaccine For Coronavirus?

mm

Published

on

The coronavirus or COVID-19 has caused global panic, as it continues to spread across countries. While the general public is panic buying and practicing self isolation in quarantine, all health workers and health authorities are trying to battle the global pandemic. As health workers risk their lives to treat their patients everyday, researchers are trying to come up with a vaccine to provide immunity or protection to some extent, from the virus.

While a vaccine for COVID-19 is much awaited, certain drugs may provide some protection. Use of live vaccines is encouraged, to increase the recipient’s immune response. However, as new drugs are being tested for the COVID-19 vaccination, non traditional uses of existing drugs are explored as well – one of them being BCG

The Bacillus Calmette- Guérin vaccine – BCG, has been used against tuberculosis long enough. Research shows that BCG causes the immune system responds better to infections – not limited to TB. Two studies in adults (age group – 60-75) have reported a decrease in respiratory infections by 70 to 80 percent. Meanwhile, two studies in children reported a decrease by 15 to 40 percent.

Another study was later on conducted on infants in countries with severe health challenges. When combined with a revitalized immunization scheme, BCG was able to decrease the death rates by just under a third. However, studies have also suggested that the time period of the protective effect is temporary, until an inactivated vaccine – such as an influenza vaccine, is given.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had commissioned a systematic review, due to the promising research, which was then published in 2016. Further research was encouraged due to the conclusion of the BCG vaccine having beneficial, but off target effects.

A trial of BCG vaccine has begun in the Netherlands and a larger trial of over 4000 health workers is expected to start next week in Australia. Meanwhile, countries like Greece, Britain, Germany, Denmark, and the United States, are also considering BCG vaccine trials.

Despite the benefits of a BCG vaccine, the protection is not expected to be perfect. Although a targeted vaccination for COVID-19 is not the same as a BCG vaccination, it is expected to reduce the severity of the illness and death rates among the recipients of the BCG vaccination. If BCG vaccinations could prove to be effective, an immediate relief system could be started to provide the particularly vulnerable people – the elderly or people with underlying health conditions, with the BCG vaccine.

Additionally, countries with weak health care systems, could highly benefit from these BCG vaccines. While the vaccine is safe and cheap, the availability for testing is immediate. While health care workers, and the vulnerable population are the priority, it can be soon be available to the general public as well.

Despite all this, big public health institutions aren’t too keen in investigating BCG, despite WHO’s recommendation. Moreover, the crucial research isn’t actively funded by global health foundations such as Gates. The lack of interest of big pharmaceutical companies points towards the little profit that an established vaccine such as BCG could bring.

Enough research has been conducted on BCG, proving it to be a potential vaccination. While it may be an unconventional use of the drug, it still shows a lot of potential to give at least partial protection.

Considering the nature of the global crisis currently, even partial protection could majorly impact the increasing number of infected cases globally. It could reduce risks of health workers substantially, and also lessen the risk of collapse of our health systems. But as for now, there is an urgency to keep trials to test it’s beneficial effects for COVID-19.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cannabis

Cannabis cosmetics and food items are coming

Published

on

Cannabis beverages coming soon

As the world moves for cannabis legalization we can expect to see it in various forms for public use. There are already several CBD based products in the market. This includes CBD based skincare items as well as oils and eatables. However, It looks like this list is going to expand even more. The Thai government is considering to allow marijuana and hemp-based cosmetics and food items. The health Secretary said on Wednesday that the government will allow the use of cannabis and hemp plant extracts in food and cosmetics.

According to Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the Narcotics Control Committee in Thailand decide to remove several items from the government’s narcotics list on Tuesday. These items include the leaves, branches, stems, trunks, bark, fiber, and roots of cannabis and hemp. In addition, the allowed list does not include shoots, including flowers, that have high drug content.

The Food and Drug administration authority will draft a new public regulation to govern this decision. The public health minister in the country will then approve this regulation before it becomes effective. The regulation also includes hemp seeds and seed extract, as well as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), at a maximum of 0.2% content. However, the allowed parts and ingredients of products have to come from producers authorized by the government. These include government organizations with medical and research tasks, modern and traditional medical practitioners, universities, community-based enterprises, and community cooperatives.

Cannabis in Japan is stigmatized with the illegal status. Advocates are now stressing for a change in attitudes.

Image: Akie Abe, Facebook.

Talking about the decision the FDA secretary-general Paisal Dunkhum said that this relaxation in the laws will benefit healthcare users of cannabis and hemp. Moreover, the producers of textiles, garments, medicines, and herbal products will also benefit from the new laws.

The New Regulation:

For self-growing cannabis, Paisal Dunkhum answered that the new permission will cover people who are already authorized to grow it for community-based enterprises, as well as cooperatives allowed to produce cannabis. Moreover, there is no limit to the number of plants allowed for these individuals.

Cannabis for medical use is legal in Thailand for a while now. the government passed those laws to legalize in hopes to increase the export revenue of the country. This will, in turn, benefit their economy leading to better growth. The recently passed law made it legal to produce medical marijuana. Previously a company found guilty of producing marijuana faced a Five-year ban.

With the new law, private companies in Thailand will produce, export, import, sell, and possess medical cannabis. Not only is it a breakthrough for the cannabis industry in the country it will also produce hundreds of new job opportunities. Thailand currently has the potential to become one of the leaders of the world in the cannabis market.

study shows amount of cannabis does not affect high

courtesy of medicalnewstoday.com

The country has a rich culture and history when it comes to cannabis. It has used marijuana as a spice and herbal remedy for centuries now. However, the new laws will sure affect the availability and public trust in the medication. In addition, Thailand is one of the first South-East Asian countries to legalize medical marijuana for patients. With their implementation, the government issues certificates for patients approved to consume cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The government has a keen intreats in the marijuana industry as soon as they passed the medical nabis law in 2019. However, it has taken some time to become a reality. Let’s hope the other Asian countries also follow suit and realize the importance of this industry.

Continue Reading

Cannabis

Pfizer And Moderna’s mRNA Shots : 95% Effective COVID-19 vaccines

Published

on

COVID-19

In the present year, a lot of big medicine companies worldwide have dedicated their resources to look for a medication that can counter COVID-19. The virus has evolved since the pandemic started and that can also affect the working medications. COVID-19 vaccines are one of the important areas of work here. Pfizer, an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation, announced on  Nov. 9 that, their vaccine developed with BioNTech shows the effectiveness of 90 percent in the first results. In addition as a follow-up to this announcement the company later indicated over 95 percent effectiveness.

Pfizer also announced that it intends to file for emergency authorization with the FDA in order to get the approval faster. Moreover another pharmaceutical company Moderna also announced their preliminary results of the COVID-19 vaccine of about 95 percent. It is a sigh of relief for many individuals as it gives us hope that life can finally return to being normal. However, there is more to these vaccines than just quoted results.

DNA, mRNA, and proteins:

The vaccines developed by Pfizer as well as Moderna rely on the mRNA-based approach. Our DNA produces mRNA in our bodies regularly. The mRNA or Messenger RNA gets its name from its working. It is a specific set of instructions for body cells to govern their working. The cells read these instructions and produce the specific protein in the body.

russia covid-19 drug

thebodypro.com

Now when a patient is injected with the mRNA-based covid vaccine it tells their body cells to create a specific protein. In the case of this vaccine that is the COVID-19 spike protein. The immune system then takes measures to counter this protein and creates the required antibodies.  This technique has a number of advantages when it comes to the other available methods. It is faster and cheaper to produce therefore can be really effective in developing herd immunity. Moreover, this type of COVID-19 vaccine is safe to use as it cannot cause illness in humans instead.

Developing Immunity to Virus:

the new vaccines can save a lot of people from this devastating pandemic. The recent quoted results of 95 percent mean that. Out of 100 people given the vaccine and then exposed to the virus. Only 5 of them were at risk of infection. the other 95 did not get ill at all. In addition, the 5 percent that did get ill will also have lover symptoms than those who did not get the vaccination at all.

Pfizer

Image Source: SkyNews

One important factor to consider in this study is that after receiving the vaccine the immune system takes time to develop the required antibodies for immunity to the virus. The patients in clinical trials of Moderna and Pfizer received the vaccines in two doses three to four weeks apart. This means that the regulation communities have to work faster. The sooner this vaccination gets approved the better our final results will be.

Conclusion:

While we cannot expect the pandemic to be over as soon as the vaccination drops we can surely expect it to lower the intensity over the world. We also need to understand that clinical trials have handpicked candidates for testing and the final results of vaccine efficiency can differ. Moreover, as discussed earlier the virus can also evolve during this phase making it difficult for the vaccine to work.

In conclusion, even after the vaccine the masks and social distancing are the only things keeping us safe from the pandemic for a while. We need to understand that this is the new normal for some time now and we have to live our lives like this.

 

 

Continue Reading

Cannabis

Here’s Why Tommy Chong Is an Active Advocate For Cannabis

mm

Published

on

Tommy Chong has been a cannabis advocate all his life.

Tommy Chong is a well-known face around the world for more than one reason. He is an actor, writer, director, musician, comedian, and most prominently a very famous cannabis advocate. His legalization efforts have continued for a good part of his life and were expressed intently through his music, films, and other creative works.

Starring alongside Richard Cheech in the Grammy Award-winning comedy flick ‘Cheech & Chong‘, Tommy Chang has been quite vocal about his love for marijuana. His stand-up shows with Richard Chee were quite impactful during their time, speaking volumes about their support for the cannabis movement. They were so successful that most of their shows were sold out in the 1970s – a time when the ‘war on drugs’ was at its peak in the entire world.

What Does Tommy Chong Believe About Cannabis Criminalization?

Hailing from immigrant families himself, Chong sternly believes that the war on drugs has its roots in xenophobia.

According to him, “Marijuana prohibition has been a racial law right from the get-go. It followed the path of the Chinese opium law. Britain actually almost ruined China with the opium trade and so America, when they wanted to demonize a race of people, they would outlaw their habits – that’s what prohibition was all about. Prohibition was just basically a racist law.”

If we are to weigh his words and match them with reality, disagreeing with him would be hard. Here’s why:

Up until the early 1800s, there were no federal restrictions on the usage, retail, or possession of marijuana in the U.S. Hemp fiber derived from it was used to make products like clothes, paper, and rope. In addition to this, medicinal usage of the drug was also very common. It might sound ironic, but at the time of its prohibition, tinctures containing cannabis traces were present in probably every medicinal cabinet in the United States. It was used to treat various diseases like malaria, stomach ache and even ‘absentmindedness’.

Why then was cannabis criminalized and banned?

Just as Tommy Chong pointed out, cannabis was prohibited in an attempt to degrade and ‘demonize’ Mexican immigrants.

The early 1900s was a time when thousands of Mexican immigrants began seeking refuge in the United States. While smoking marijuana recreationally was not very common in the U.S, Mexican immigrants were quite fond of this practice.

This was seen as a great opportunity to instill ‘reefer madness’ among the people. Politicians were quick to substitute the term ‘cannabis’ with ‘marihuana’ to make it sound more authentically Mexican in order to create more prejudice.  It worked of course. Newspapers were soon labeling Mexican cannabis use as a ‘marijuana menace’. In the words of Harry J. Anslinger, first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, marijuana caused “insanity, criminality, and death”.

Here is a quote from a New York Times story from 1927:

“A widow and her four children have been driven insane by eating the Marihuana plant, according to doctors, who say that there is no hope of saving the children’s lives and that the mother will be insane for the rest of her life,”

Going Back to the Future With Cannabis

With the increasing recognition of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and its derivatives, laws surrounding it are slowly relaxing. The racism that has long haunted the drug is also vanishing slowly.

Tommy Chong compares this with the phenomena of going back to the future. He says that with more acceptance of the drug, society is going back to the beginning days. It is returning to days where there was no stigma attached to the drug.

According to him, one of the major challenges now faced by the industry is its federal prohibition. Businesses are unable to obtain finances for the fear of being prosecuted. This has led to a major part of the industry operating on cash transactions creating problems for them as well as regulators. Depending upon cash means that cannabis dispensaries are at the forefront of robberies and burglaries when civil unrest arises.

Cannabis is equally beneficial for the mind and body

Chong is a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. He has made a mention of its religious sacrament and its soothing impact on the mind and body.

“A lot of sports people that I’ve known are big marijuana advocates because it doesn’t tear you down like alcohol does or make you crazy or addicted like cocaine and heroin. So, marijuana is really the perfect stuff for everything including medicine.”

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!