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The cannabis plant is packed with medicinal potential. That’s why medical marijuana is legal in 33 states… and federal legalization is likely to follow in the next few years.
It’s already proven to relieve pain, treat insomnia, reduce nausea, restore appetite, manage tremors, treat glaucoma… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s still so much more research that needs to be done on the medicinal benefits of marijuana before we truly understand what this powerful plant is capable of.
Especially when you consider that there are somewhere between 66 and 113 different cannabinoids (chemical compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant), and they all have different effects on the body.
One of the cannabinoids that has received the most attention in recent years (and rightly so) is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is known for its powerful ability to reduce inflammation and treat health conditions, without making you high. I personally know people who use it to treat inflammation tied to arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and anxiety — and they’ve had impressive results.
But it turns out, CBD may have an even bigger and more urgent role to play in the health of humankind than anyone ever realized. A new study shows that CBD could help prevent and treat COVID-19.
CBD blocks more than 70 percent of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s entry points
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Lethbridge in Canada found that cannabis plants high in CBD seem to block the pathway that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to enter the body.
These researchers identified 13 different strains of cannabis sativa that were high in CBD. They then created artificial human 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues — tissues that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to enter the body. After closely examining the effect the high-CBD strains had on these models, they discovered that these strains modulate something known as the ACE2 pathway.
This is the pathway the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to get into the body. Researchers also found that certain high-CBD extracts down-regulate serine protease TMPRSS2, a critical protein required for SARS-CoV2 to enter host cells.
According to one researcher who worked on the study, these cannabis strains have the potential to reduce SARS-CoV2’s entry points by 70 to 80 percent. That’s a huge deal. Researchers also believe that these cannabis extracts could be used to develop preventative treatments for COVID-19 like mouthwash and throat gargle products.
Don’t stock up on CBD quite yet (at least not for COVID)
This research is still very preliminary. It hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet. So, as much as I’d like to say CBD-filled cannabis is a surefire way to reduce your risk of developing COVID-19, I can’t do that quite yet.
Still, if you’re already using cannabis — high CBD strains in particular — it’s good to know that you might be getting a little extra protection during this pandemic. And even if you’re not getting extra protection, you’re hopefully experiencing other worthwhile health benefits that are improving your life.
As far as COVID-19 goes, right now, the best way to protect yourself is still to wear a mask, wash your hands and keep a safe distance from other people.
Editor’s note: Have you heard of the entourage effect? Dozens of studies show it is now the most effective way to get the most out of a CBD supplement. If full-spectrum, doctor-approved, highly bioavailable CBD oil is for you, click here!
- Medical marijuana — Harvard Health Publishing.
- The Big List Of Cannabis Cannabinoids — Hemp Gazette.
- Scientists believe cannabis could help prevent and treat coronavirus — New York Post.
- In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues — Preprints.