When can we return to our normal lives? A question asked by billions with no answer to sublimate their fear. The search for turning the world back to its old self, researchers across the globe are busy looking for both traditional and non-conventional options as a cure for the growing pandemic. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a few are even working on finding the link between cannabis and coronavirus. As of now, there is no evidence about the therapeutic potential of cannabis against the COVID-19 infection. But, researchers in Canada say that this herb might provide resistance to the SARS-CoV-2. I am sure the ones with a medical marijuana card might be feeling lucky right now.
But, hang on!! The studies are still preliminary. And scientists are yet to find some conclusive evidence to confirm the same. So, don’t get your hopes up right away. In the meanwhile, let’s look at what scientists are working on to ease your fears.
There is ongoing preliminary research that talks about using certain strains to increase the resistance to the COVID-19 virus. For now, it appears that cannabis works like nicotine to provide the potential therapeutic effect. What I mean is that cannabis might reduce the virus’s ability to enter the lungs—the part of the body considered as the home ground of the virus where it stays and spreads. The same was published in a paper where scientists can publish their results (non-peer reviewed).
According to this study, Kovalchuk and his colleagues confirmed that they were able to stop the virus from entering the body using specialized cannabis strains. The theory used in this research was that the virus requires a receptor to enter the human system. And that is angiotensin-converting enzyme II or ACE2. It is a receptor found in the lung tissues, nasal mucus, and oral cavity. Not only that, one can find this receptor in kidneys, testes, and gastrointestinal tracts too.
So, if you modify or modulate the levels of ACE2 in humans, you might be able to increase the resistance to the virus. Therefore, the aim is to reduce the risk of this infection. It’s simple. If the virus does not get its binding region, it won’t be able to enter the host. The thought of this study came from the research findings on arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and cancer. They are hopeful that upon entering the clinical phase, it might actually extrapolate similar results.
Some scientists are working on certain existing drugs such as Remdesivir, a drug known to cure Ebola. Another group of scientists from Germany is working on a vaccine that was earlier developed for cancer immunology. One more study is suggesting that if you ingest nicotine via smoking, it might protect people from the potential lung infection caused by the virus.
Remember: All these trials are still preliminary. Until and unless there is a successful clinical trial, it’s a request that you must stop using cannabis as a cure for the coronavirus.
In case you forgot, a study by the UCLA professor found that cannabis smoking causes inflammation in the lung cells that might trigger a cascade of reactions. So, using a medical marijuana card to use such means of consumption might turn out to be a disaster in the future.
There is no doubt that medical cannabis is helping thousands of patients to relieve a wide range of symptoms, starting with nausea, appetite, mood swings, dementia, and a lot more. But, thinking of using it as a protective cover against coronavirus without any supporting evidence would be too childish.
Of course, there is more cannabis than just THC. Studies confirm its anti-inflammatory therapeutic potential, and its fever controlling abilities might make it an excellent alternative to control temperature along with relieving muscle tension. The scientists who are working on cannabis are looking at 800 different CBD-dominant varieties. Out of which 13 variants are modulating ACE levels. But, still, there is no specific answer if it could do that on a larger scale.
When it comes to cannabis or cannabinoids research, it’s hard to get the required funding. And that’s the case in many countries. It’s because of the fear of addiction or self-medication that revolves around cannabis. However, this is the right time to introduce transparent research. Who knows this opportunity might give cannabis its due credit to get into a well-designed robust clinical trial.
Scientists believe that the tide of favoritism might soon arrive as there always has been an issue of backlash against cannabis-driven studies or projects. So, no one knows if it’s a good thing or a bad thing for humans. And this pandemic might help us finding precisely that. The probability of diverting funds to cannabis research is increasing every day. Though, for now, people can use a medical marijuana card to protect their current symptoms from flaring up.
It’s no more hidden that the virus spreads through human contact. So, you must do everything in your power to protect yourself from getting infected. To begin with, make sure that you wash your hands often for 20 seconds. And maintaining social distancing guidelines, i.e., being six-feet apart from one another.
Another thing is that you must follow social distancing guidelines while using cannabis too. For example, stop sharing and passing cannabis culture. It’s no point being under a lockdown if you are not adopting safety measures. If that seems a bit much, you can switch to cannabis edibles or sublingual. That way, you can ensure your product is germ-free. And if you still wish to continue with smoking or vaping, make sure to clean your glassware with the right disinfectants. And if you are using cannabis as medicine using a medical marijuana card, ensure that you are buying from a trusted source.
Scientists across the world are bust developing vaccines against the growing COVID-19 virus. Until today, more than 90 vaccines have already been developed. Out of which, six groups have entered into the human safety trial stage, while others have already started animal testing. Precisely, every vaccine is working on exposing an antigen to the human body that would halt the replication of the virus. In layman terms, the vaccines are working on triggering an immune response that will either block or kill the virus.
But, a lot of cannabis companies are using this opportunity to spike their sales by projecting cannabis as a potential cure. So, patients must avoid getting duped to such stories. As of now, the role of cannabis is limited to lowering down your stress levels or maintaining your health using a medical marijuana card.
Rest, research is still going on to provide substantial data concerning cannabis’s role in killing or halting the virus. Hence, one must follow the standard precautions as of now to avoid contracting the virus. And if you still are feeling anxious, no matter what you do. You can try growing cannabis in your backyard using a medical marijuana grower license. Stay Home, Stay Safe.
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