A new study from the University Of Lethbridge in Calgary, Canada has explored the benefits of cannabis in relation to coronavirus.
Though the cannabis industry, like many other industries, has suffered from the coronavirus pandemic, there have been reports of increased consumption. A study conducted by americanmarijuana.org found that 49% of 990 participants stocked up on cannabis during the pandemic. Out of that 49%, the study reveals that 55% of consumers stockpiled on weed to calm their anxiety during the pandemic.
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According to the Calgary Herald, a Canadian researcher discovered that there could be even bigger benefits of cannabis to fight against the coronavirus pandemic, aside from easing the anxiety. Dr. Igor Kovalchuk went through 400 strains of cannabis to find about a dozen that could potentially block breeding grounds for the virus to. Now, researchers at the University of Lethbridge are looking to concentrate those strains to explore the possibilities that they can actually prevent COVID-19.
“A number of them have reduced the number of these (virus) receptors by 73 percent, the chance of it getting in is much lower,” said Kovalchuk. “If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.”
There are still a few barriers they face in this discovery including going through a clinical trial due to the impact of social distancing on the cannabis economy. However, under Health Canada’s license, they’ve used artificial human 3D tissue to find out how cannabis can block the virus from finding hosts in intestines, lungs, and oral cavity.
“It would be cheaper for people and have a lot less side-effects,” he said. “Our work could have a huge influence — there aren’t many drugs that have the potential of reducing infection by 70 to 80 per cent.” It should be noted that if this proves to be an effective method to combat coronavirus, it wouldn’t be consumed through regular smoking methods but rather through mouth wash, gel caps, gargle, or inhalants.