A team of Canadian researchers from the University of Lethbridge published a study in April, purporting to show that certain cannabis strains could help treat the coronavirus. The New York Post reported on the study. The scientists conducted trials using 13 hemp extracts.
The results demonstrate that ingesting plants with concentrated amounts of CBD can substantially reduce the virus's entry path into the body. The cannabis blocks proteins specifically that facilitate the disease's infiltration.
The news reportedly came as a surprise to the scientists, who were overjoyed by the results. According to one optimistic researcher, he believes the hemp could constrict bodily entry points by as much as 70 percent, the end result being lower risk.
That 70 percent figure is significant because there aren't many drugs that can boast numbers like that. The scientists have qualified their results by insisting on more research (the study has not yet been peer-reviewed).
If additional findings back up the existing results, then cannabis could become involved in popular treatment strategies. It could be useful both on the treatment as well as prevention sides of the equation. One scientist said he imagines people using everyday CBD consumer products such as a special mouthwash.
While the news may excite the Cheech and Chong types out there, the researchers say their findings should not be taken as carte blanche for smoking more weed. Out of hundreds of strains, only a handful appear to be helpful. The desirable characteristic of the cannabis is not THC, the chemical agent that gets people high, but anti-inflammatory CBD.
The study comes out at a time when scientists are pulling out all the stops to combat the coronavirus. The fact that researchers are turning to such an unorthodox medicine as marijuana indicates a willingness to think outside the box. Creative solutions should be welcome, especially during a crisis.