New study shows cannabis can “tame” COVID-19

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While not a cure, cannabis can help control the coronavirus, according to research

Recently, the term “cytokine storm” has been much in the news in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic and how to stop it from spreading any further and killing any more people. The “cytokine storm” is associated with acute respiratory distress due to the coronavirus and has been pegged as a leading cause of death among patients with preexisting respiratory conditions. A new study out of Canada is offering data that there exist some strains of cannabis that can help reduce the effects of a “cytokine storm” and perhaps save lives.

The study was conducted by scientists from the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge working at Pathway Research Inc., where researchers used a complicated process to induce skin inflammation using UV rays, and then ‘treated’ it with seven different cannabis strains to see if any of them had and any efficacy in reducing the inflammation.

The surprising results found that the cannabis may “tame,” or reduce, the severity of COVID-19. But the results came as no surprise to Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, whose team has been studying the anti-inflammatory potential of cannabis for years now. The researchers have been working with the effects of over 100 ‘cultivars’ so that Dr. Kovalchuk already had some idea where to start when his lab took on the COVID-19 project.

“As to specific chemicals, our analysis shows that CBD or THC alone do not have the same effect,” says Kovalchuk. “We strongly believe in the full-spectrum, entourage-based effects.” Out of the seven cannabis strains used in this study, three were deemed the “most effective” in profoundly reducing these inflammatory cytokine storms.