Can Cannabis Combat COVID-19?

Can Cannabis Combat COVID-19?

High CBD Cannabis Strains Show Promise in Impeding Spread of COVID-19


Researchers in Alberta, Canada have partnered with two major cannabis R&D companies hoping to find solutions that hinder the COVID-19 virus from finding a host in the lungs, intestines, and mouth. Lead by Doctors Igor and Olga Kovalchuck of the University of Lethbridge, a team of doctors aided by Pathway Rx and Swysh—two major companies devoted to exploring the therapeutic effects of cannabis—now have precursive evidence suggesting that certain high-CBD sativa strains can help inhibit rapid spreading of COVID-19. 

Their findings have NOT yet been peer-reviewed, and require further large-scale testing to be proven outright. Nevertheless, Dr. Igor Kovalchuck states confidently in his manuscript that the results of his study, “pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.”

COVID-19, like many other airborne pathogens, spreads most rapidly when it comes into contact with the mucous membranes of the human body—i.e. the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs. It enters the cell walls through certain receptors which, if beefed up, could prevent infection in the most vulnerable tissues in our bodies.  

After studying over 800 cannabis sativa strains, the research now focuses on just 13 strains of sativa that are especially high in CBD. “A number of them have reduced the number of these (virus) receptors by 73 percent, the chance of it getting in is much lower.” says Kovalchuck, “If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.”

Now, it’s important to note that these conclusions do not prove that cannabis is the key to resolving the COVID-19 crisis altogether. 

The research requires large-scale validation and publication in a peer-reviewed journal to gain recognition as concrete data. The researchers are not sure at this point if the medicinal key lies within the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, the antimicrobial/anti-cancer properties of terpenes like limonene (also found in lemons), or in some other cannabinoid. But, given the rapidly evolving and vastly spreading epidemic, “every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue” urges  Kovalchuck, “must be considered.”