So, you may have seen articles being shared around that state that research has shown there is a possibility that particular strains of cannabis, particularly those high in CBD, can aid in protecting the body against Coronavirus.
This isn’t a niche story, even the National Post has picked it up, but as if so often the case, the release of the story has led to a mass of false information.
We will get into the finer details of the story, but first, let’s make one thing clear, this study does NOT prove that CBD or cannabis is a cure for COVID-19, nor does it state that cannabinoids definitely help you build up antibodies, immunity, or anything else.
This is a story about a scientific study in its early stages that has shown some promising results, and results that are worthy of discussion.
Scientists at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, led by biological scientist Dr Igor Kovalchuk have tested over 400 different strains of cannabis for the ability to limit virus receptors in the body.
Of these 400 plus, 12 have shown promising results, with Dr Kovalchuk stating that some have reduced receptors by 73%, which is important, according to the good doctor, who said:
“If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.”
The study has shown that higher CBD content may correlate with the limiting of virus receptors, but that is not necessarily as simple as it sounds.
Dr Kovalchuk admitted that the focus was predominantly on high CBD strains because “people can take higher doses and not be impaired”, although he did add that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis with a high CBD content has shown the most promise.
These results are interesting, sure, but they are certainly not proof, with even Dr Kovalchuk himself, despite his apparent optimism, making it clear that this study is not conclusive, saying:
“It will take a long time to find what the active ingredient is — there may be many.”
We’ve toned down the science speak here, but if you’re keen on knowing the ins and outs, a brief outline of the study’s results is available here.
Please note that the study does not state the specific strains that were tested, because, as we have stated, the study is not proof, and it isn’t sensible to start using these strains to combat COVID-19, at least until more information has ben gathered.
What Does This Mean?
This is a non-peer reviewed study, which means, in simple terms, it doesn’t mean anything at the moment. Not in terms of proving anything at least. But what it does do is raise enough questions for research to continue.
Now, it must be added that there is a certain sense of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks when it comes to finding ways to prevent or limit the risk of coronavirus (nicotine patches are also being tested, for example, due to a suggestion that nicotine may also limit virus receptors).
This attitude is understandable, but it is likely to mean there will be a variety of stories being released about the possibility that certain substances may aid in the global fight against this pandemic. Not all of these stories will end up proving true, and it is important to give scientists the time to do the necessary research before jumping to any conclusions, as tempting as it may be to do so.
What Happens Next?
A peer-reviewed study is necessary, but there is also substantially more research to be done. There is no evidence yet to prove what the active ingredient is that affects virus receptors, whether it is CBD, or the ratio of CBD vs THC which works best.
It may still be discovered that the results of these tests were a fluke, and that there is actually no relationship at all between cannabinoids and coronavirus immunity.
That isn’t to say this study isn’t exciting, it is, but it’s important to stay rational and logical. We will, of course, bring any new information as it comes, but its early days, and it isn’t going to be soon, if ever, that the evidence is sufficient.
The products we sell do not have proven health benefits. While research is being carried out, these products are not, and should not, be considered to be medical products.
Any information we give in these articles is taken from scientific research, but should not be considered as a statement of fact. Links and information included in these articles do not reflect the opinion of Plant & Hemp. Any link to scientific studies is for information only, and not intended as a proof of any specific fact, or to validate any specific opinion.
We are simply bringing you the information needed to make an informed decision on what you want to use CBD for, and what you are comfortable using our products for.
CBD products should not be used as a replacement for any prescribed medication.