The scientists believe that cannabis use may provide additional protection against COVID-19 by blocking the "docking sites" that give it access to the body.
New preliminary research from a scientific team in Canada has suggested that certain strains of cannabis may provide resistance against the COVID-19 virus.
Although the study has not yet been peer-reviewed, if verified it would confirm that cannabis is capable of preventing coronavirus in a manner similar to nicotine, which French researchers claim can theoretically block the infections "docking sites".
Researchers have to be particularly careful when disseminating their results given the socio-political volatility of medicinal cannabis use. In this instance, the current research from Canada has just unveiled a potential therapeutic 'mechanism of action' but that would need to be validated and tested in well-designed, robust clinical trials before any meaningful clinical conclusions can be drawn. King's College London Research Portfolio Lead, Chris Albertyn
According to a paper published by the Canadian scientific team on preprints.org, specially developed strains of cannabis may be able to effectively stop coronavirus from entering the human body by inhibiting its ability to enter the lungs.
This may be because the COVID-19 virus requires a receptor—which is found in the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, lung tissue and oral and nasal mucus cavities—known as an angiotensin-converting enzyme II, but more commonly referred to as ACE2, to infect a human host.
The scientific team—which is being led by a professor of Biological Sciences from the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Igor Kovalchuck—believes that cannabis use may serve to modulate the "gateways" in human hosts which could lower our vulnerability to the virus.
"The results on COVID-19 came from our studies on arthritis, Crohn's disease, cancer and others," Kovalchuck said.
"If there's no ACE2 on tissues, the virus will not enter."
"Our varieties are high in CBD, or balanced CBD/THC, because you can give a higher dose and people will not be impaired due to the psychoactive properties of THC."
Kovalchuck's team has chosen to focus exclusively on varieties of cannabis that contain high levels cannabidiol (CBD)—having thus far identified 13 useable strains out of more than 800—which they believe will aid ACE2 enzyme levels.
However, researchers in the UK argue that further investigation is needed before any substantial scientific claims can be made, including double-blind placebo-controlled trials, independent peer reviews, and the publication of clinical protocols and analysis methods.
"But there is ENORMOUS [sic] interest now. The tide is coming," Kovalchuck said.
This pot stock could reach new heights in 2020 due to Coronavirus
The COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, and as global markets enter meltdown many cannabis companies are feeling the effects of capital crunch.
While the market crash will continue for some time, it represents a golden opportunity for investors who are capable of riding out the volatility until share prices rally.
Luckily, one pot stock has developed antimicrobial drug that can already treat two superbugs while limiting their ability to develop antibiotic resistance.
Investors can also start picking up shares at rock bottom prices, as global investor sentiment continues to dampen thanks to COVID-19.
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