There’s a lot of documented information about cannabis in cancer, cannabis in inflammation, anxiety, obesity but can it help with COVID-19?
With the rapidly growing pandemic of COVID-19, there is an urgent need for new therapies and prevention strategies that can help curtail disease spread and reduce mortality.
In a recent study in April, a team of Canadian scientists believes it has found that medical grade cannabis could help prevent or treat coronavirus infections.
After sifting through 400 cannabis strains, the researchers from the University of Lethbridge found that cannabis plants high in CBD appeared to affect the ACE2 pathways that the coronavirus uses to access the body.
The results suggest hemp extracts high in CBD may help block proteins that provide a “gateway” for COVID-19 to enter host cells. CBD is an anti-inflammatory which may counteract the attack COVID-19 puts on the body and slow down the virus.
“We were totally stunned at first, and then we were really happy,” one of the researchers, Olga Kovalchuk, told CTV News.
Basically the study suggests when using cannabis that is high in sativa, it reduces the ability of the coronavirus to enter your cells. This is expressed in lung tissue, as well as oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes, and the gastrointestinal tract.
“A number of them have reduced the number of these (virus) receptors by 73 per cent, the chance of it getting in is much lower,” said Kovalchuk.
“If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.”
The research was conducted in partnership with the University of Lethbridge, Pathway RX Inc., and Swysh Inc., two companies focused on researching and developing custom cannabis therapies.
The researchers are currently seeking funding to continue their efforts to support scientific initiatives to address COVID-19.