Research

Canadian Research Hints That Cannabis Might Prevent COVID-19

June 25, 2020 10:26 am ET
Canadian Research Hints That Cannabis Might Prevent COVID-19

In recent months, the world has been taken by storm by a virus known as Covid-19. This variance of the coronavirus has caused mass panic, significant economic losses, and a new normal way of life to emerge. With such a severe outbreak of the virus and very minimal known about what can be done to stop its progression, researchers are looking at every possible option for potential treatments. This includes cannabis. Since the beginning of the outbreak, there have been several cannabis-related COVID-19 studies. A recent one shows excellent potential in preventing the virus from infecting a host. Let’s take a closer look! 

The Study’s Details

Researchers from the University of Lethbridge in Calgary studied over 400 varieties of cannabis as potential prevention aspects against COVID-19. The study was performed by researchers Bo Wang, Anna Kovalchuk, Dongping Li1, Yaroslav Ilnytskyy, Igor Kovalchuk, and Olga Kovalchuk. The study is titled, “In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues”, and was published in a non-peer-reviewed journal on April 17th, 2020.

The Findings

Through this study, researchers have found that at least a dozen cannabis strains offer substantial hope as part of a treatment to prevent the virus from infecting a host body. This prevention is achieved by reducing virus receptors in potential hosts, thus in return, reducing the chance for an individual to become infected. In their research, they have determined that some strains reduce the number of receptors that COVID-19 can attach to by more than 70%!

A number of them have reduced the number of these receptors by 73 percent, the chance of it getting in is much lower. If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.

– Dr. Igor Kovalchuk

What’s Next?

Researchers are thrilled with their conclusion; however, they have noted that more research is necessary to precisely conclude which components or a variety of compounds within these strains are responsible for reducing receptors and potential prevention of COVID-19 infection. The research performed thus far has been concentrated on preventing infection through the lungs, intestines, and mouth. Further research could warrant the creation of new products such as mouthwashes, or gel caps to aid in the research and preventive treatment.

Researchers hope that the preventive aspects will be found in various high CBD strains of cannabis as they have shown great hope and offer a potential treatment avenue without psychoactive effects. However, CBD isn’t the only specific compound within cannabis varieties being looked at by researchers.

The extracts of our most successful and novel high CBD C sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of Covid-19 as an adjunct therapy. Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.

The Conclusion

The conclusion of the research study, which can be downloaded here, states the following; 

Based on our preliminary data, extracts of novel efficacious C. sativa lines, pending further investigations, may become a useful addition to the treatment of COVID-19, and an excellent GRAS adjunct therapy. They may also be used to develop additional easy-to-use preventative strategies such as mouth wash and throat gargle products that may be tested for their potential to decrease viral entry via the oral cavity and may be used both in clinical practice and at-home treatment.

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