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September 10, 2020

Can Cannabis Help Fight Coronavirus?

All information provided in this article is based on opinions and hypothesis of scientists and researchers and has not been proven or disproven.

One of the first things researchers do after a new virus has been identified is try and treat it using existing means, i.e. drugs, and cannabis has been given its fair consideration by numerous studies, primarily based on the previous research into marijuana’s medicinal properties.

First thing researchers keep in mind is that cannabis is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and could, in theory, be used as a potential treatment for coronavirus-related pneumonia.

There is currently no scientific evidence that cannabis or its compounds can help with COVID-19, but more and more scientists are looking into the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis as a treatment.

THC and/or CBD may be beneficial in viral infections where the host inflammatory response is pathogenic. Here is what occurs with Covid-19: the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, for unclear reasons, triggers a cytokine storm - the production of excessive levels of cytokines - resulting in hyperinflammation. Cannabinoids could possibly be a part of a treatment regimen, with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications that target immune pathways, which could downregulate the cytokine storm.

The researchers note that THC binds CB2 receptors, which are found primarily on the cells of the immune system. Activation of CB2 receptors by THC suppresses the release of cytokines. THC exerts its effects through its ability to bind and activate CB2 receptors. Research has also shown that THC can be used as a potential therapeutic agent for ARDS in humans and may provide some protection against COVID-19-induced ARDS. High CBD hemp extracts may help block proteins that provide a passage to the host cells for COVID-19.

One of the studies also suggests that cannabis could be used to develop a preventive treatment in the form of mouthwash or throat gargle products. This will have a potential to decrease the virus’ oral entry. 

Further research will show if cannabis or more precisely cannabinoids like THC, CBD and others may be used to decrease the risk, lessen the symptoms or even treat of COVID-19. For now, there is hope that cannabis will stand up to yet another disease.

Stay safe and observe the guidelines provided by trusted sources to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19.

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