Researchers from Canada are studying the different properties of cannabis, and how it interacts with COVID-19. According to his study, Dr. Kovalchuck has concluded that cannabis could increase the body’s resistance against the new coronavirus. This could open many options in the near future. Still, more data needs to be collected in order to know more about both the virus and the cannabis plant.
The new coronavirus pandemic keeps spreading rapidly throughout the world and this is evidenced by the increasing number of people infected. To date, more than 4 million people have or have had COVID-19.
In several parts of the world, numerous researchers are carrying out medical studies to find the long-awaited vaccine to a disease that appeared and surprised humanity five months ago.
China, the United States, Germany, Israel, and England are among the countries that are conducting ongoing studies to find and develop a coronavirus vaccine.
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Medical cannabis could become a life savior during the pandemic
Canada has recently joined investigations in order to find out if cannabis could help halt the pandemic. Canadian researchers have published a report in which they explain that some ingredients of the psychoactive drug cannabis could also increase the resistance to cells against the new coronavirus.
“The results on COVID-19 come from our studies on arthritis, Crohn’s disease, cancer and others,” said Dr. Igor Kovalchuck, professor of Biosciences at the University of Lethbridge. The medical researchers assume that some substances in cannabis could reduce the virus’ ability to enter the lung cells, where it sits, reproduces and spreads.
Dr. Kovalchuck and his team have pointed out that specially developed strains of cannabis effectively prevent this new and elusive virus from entering the body. However, the coronavirus needs a “receptor” to enter a cell.
ACE2 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme II) would be that identified receptor. This is located in the lung tissue, the mucosa of the mouth and nose, the kidneys, the testicles and the gastrointestinal tract.
According to his theory, it could be that cannabinoids alter “access” due to the absence of ACE2. The host would then be less susceptible and vulnerable to the virus: “If there is no ACE2 in the tissue, the virus cannot penetrate,” Kovalchuck said.
To date, his research has not yet yielded conclusive results related to cannabis, but it was published on Preprints.org.
Medical cannabis as a plausible treatment for some diseases
For some time now, “medical cannabis” has been used as a treatment for various diseases such as nausea and dementia. This type of cannabis cannot be planted outdoors, as it belongs to a strain containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the drug’s main psychoactive ingredient.
The study conducted by Canadian researchers, focused on the plant Cannabis sativa, which has high levels of the anti-inflammatory cannabidiol (CBD).
The researchers involved in the study have indicated that there is interest in further studying cannabis in a meaningful way. However, they warn that a large-scale acceptance of the study is needed because it could be a “safe supplement” for the treatment of COVID-19 on a global level.
Finally, a cannabis treatment that protects against coronavirus, even if possible, is still far away as the plant is not widely accepted yet. Still, this revolutionary plant has been doing slow but steady progress in many countries. Different processes of legalization are underway, which could mean that in the near future much more research will be done with this plant.
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First published in La Republica, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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