Cannabis & Coronavirus
It's been an interesting year to say the least. Coronavirus has affected people from pretty much every walk of life and had an impact on just about everything we know. Now whilst we don't expect things to go back to normal anytime soon there has been some really interesting discoveries since the outbreak.
A group of scientists from the University of Lethbridge have been working with strong strains of Cannabis to treat Coronavirus and have found that certain strains might have the ability to prevent & treat COVID-19.
According to Professors Igor & Olga Kovalchuk, strong strains of Cannabis can be used to affect the ACE2 pathways which the virus uses as an entry point to the body, sometimes reducing the virus' entry point by up to 70%.
Now whilst the discoveries are far from conclusive and the researchers admit that much more testing is needed, it is still an amazing discovery. They are planning on looking into whether a Mouthwash or Throat 'Gargling' products can be developed.
They said: “While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is crucial for the future analysis of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19."
However this is not the definitive story, as some experts have said that smoking Cannabis could actually increase your risk of catching Coronavirus. As COVID-19 affects the respiratory system people who smoke or are around second hand smoke could be more susceptible to the disease as normally smoking depresses the immune function in your lungs.
Several trials are still taking place all over the globe to research the effects of Medicinal Cannabis on COVID-19, with that being said we are still some way off being able to draw any significant conclusions regarding the potential treatment of Coronavirus patients.
Other studies have been looking into using CBD to treat COVID-19 which has yielded some interesting results. New evidence suggests that CBD or Terpenes could in fact be used as a treatment for the dangerous 'Cytokine Storms' (any of a number of substances which are secreted by certain cells of the immune system and have an effect on other cells) that can result in the death of COVID-19 patients. It has been observed that CBD reduces the cytokine levels and thus the inflammation which potentially prevents the 'Cytokine Storms'.
Whilst there has been some positive outcomes from researchers the culture of smoking Cannabis has been under threat. Normally a social experience, passing joints, communal bong use & general socialising has not been allowed due to social distancing measures put in place. There is also the greater risk of infection to people who are smokers due to the fact that their lungs are less likely to be functioning at their best. In conclusion there is still lots to learn about the effects of Cannabis and it's difficult to get the research approved due to the stigma of the plant.
Make sure to stay safe out there people!