Cannabis could help treat and prevent COVID-19 infection, according to scientists

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • Canadian scientists have found that cannabis can help prevent and treat coronavirus infection.
  • Effective varieties of Sativa were high in CBD and low in THC.
  • Further study and research are needed regarding the medical effects of cannabis on COVID-19.

According to interviews and a study, scientists from Canada have found strong strains of cannabis that could possibly assist in preventing as well as treating coronavirus infections.

The study was carried out in partnership with cannabis therapy research company Pathway Rx and cannabinoid-based research company Swysh Inc. The research is yet to be peer-reviewed.

A team of researchers from the University of Lethbridge said that during their April study, they found at least 13 cannabis plants with high levels of CBD that appeared to help block proteins that can serve as a “gateway” for COVID-19 to access host cells in the body. The results were printed in the online journal Preprints.

Olga Kovalchuk, one of the researchers said that the results had initially surprised them. Her husband, Igor, suggested that cannabis would be able to give people more chances to fight against the virus by reducing potential infection by 70%-80%.

“We were totally stunned at first, and then we were really happy,” Kovalchuk, told CTV News.

It is noted that their work needs more research, but if the study proves to be capable of modulating the enzyme it “may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility”. Additionally, it would possibly “become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.”

Not just any cannabis will have the benefits though. Olga told CTV that their study showed a little over 800 varieties of Sativa that could help COVID-19 prevention and treatment. All of them contained high levels of anti-inflammatory CBD and low THC, which is responsible for producing the cannabis high.

“The key thing is not that any cannabis you would pick up at the store will do the trick,” Kovalchuk told CTV, with the study suggesting just a handful of more than 800 varieties of sativa seemed to help.

More funding is sought to continue the researcher’s efforts so that the medical effects of cannabis on COVID-19 can be further analyzed.

“Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered,” the research said.

Source: New York Post

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