New Research Suggests Cannabis Could Help Fight Coronavirus
Two Canadian scientists from the University of Lethbridge believe they’ve found a cannabis strain that could help prevent and treat COVID-19 infections.
Olga and Igor Kovalchuck, the scientists behind this breakthrough hypothesis, were working on a cannabis strain for years, testing it and developing it to create a new strain that would fight cancer inflammations. However, with the outbreak of the pandemic, they shifted the focus of their study to the novel Coronavirus.
They conducted the study in partnership with Swysh Inc. — a bio-science, research, and development company — and Pathway Rx, a company that develops custom cannabis therapies for treating specific diseases.
Their work was published in the April issue of Preprints, the online, open-access medical journal.
As we already know, Coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, aerosol, and direct contact, like any other respiratory pathogen.
Yet, scientists also go on to explain that the virus enters our bodies through the angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) located in lung tissue, the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, testes, and nasal and oral mucosa. By modifying the ACE2, which acts as a gateway for the virus, they decreased the susceptibility of infection by up to 70%, giving the person greater chances of fighting the infection. Moreover, this strain could possibly prevent the virus from propagating once it enters the body.
So far, this is merely a (very promising) theory, as the researchers have found only a few strains out of the 800 tested that could do this. Meaning, you can’t just go to any dispensary and buy a random cannabis-infused product to protect you from the virus.
Even though it’s just a theory, this gives great hopes for the future. If scientists can prove this theory, these strains could be used to make preventative treatments like mouthwash and throat gargle products.
The study needs to be peer-reviewed and the researchers require more funding. Nevertheless, as the global Coronavirus situation gets more desperate, all therapeutic possibilities have to be explored (and thoroughly at that).