THC could help to prevent severe complications from COVID-19

Published Oct 14, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
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Could this cannabinoid in cannabis be the treatment we need to avoid severe complications caused by COVID-19? Some researchers believe that the green plant could be the answer for this life-threatening condition, which can cause fluids to build up in the lungs, starving the body of vital oxygen. Cannabis has proven through numerous clinical trials to be a relief for many health conditions today, but could it really help us to reduce the damage caused by this pandemic?

Some of the researchers at the University of South Carolina believe that THC may be an effective way to treat one of the lethal complications of COVID-19. Although the research depended on mice for the study results, the experts who took part noted that THC could prevent the harmful immune response that causes (ARDA) Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and its enterotoxin SEB. Researchers now believe THC could also be responsible for increasing healthy lung bacteria.

Clinical trials gave the researchers an insight into the possibilities after seeing the positive response in the mice, and as such, they are recommending that clinical trials now be conducted on humans. However,  researchers are adamant that they are not suggesting or advocating for the recreational use of cannabis, or for patients who have an active COVID infection to self-medicate and use THC as a coronavirus treatment. THC is known to suppress the immune response, so it might make the body respond positively rather than negatively if it’s used early on during the infection.

Studies from Israel

Studies from Israel show that specific terpenes in cannabis could be useful in the treatment of cytokine storm syndrome, which is often the result of contracting COVID-19. Cytokine storm syndrome presents as a form of an inflammatory response in which the white blood cells are activated and release inflammatory cytokines. The syndrome can cause you to experience fatigue, vomiting, and fever, and it can progress to a patient needing the assistance of a ventilator to survive. Early studies from Israel indicate that combining a terpene formula with CBD proved to be twice as effective as the medicinal treatment for inflammation, Dexamethasone, a common corticosteroid.


Research in Canada

Canadian researchers have also published the results of a study that found a specific strain of marijuana could be beneficial for blocking the virus from entering the body through ACE2 receptors. Igor and Olga Kovalchuck, the researchers, have reportedly been testing and developing a cannabis strain for years to help to combat inflammation and cancer. The study indicated that modulation of ACE2 levels in the lung tissue, oral and mucosa, and the gastrointestinal tract might be the strategy that can decrease disease susceptibility. When the pandemic hit the world, the team turned the study to see how the strain could be studied to assist in the COVID19 fight.

There are many noted clinical trials and studies that are now underway to help us find a much-needed treatment for the COVID-19 virus. Researchers have discovered over the last few months as the world has been in the grips of the pandemic, what cannabis can do for medicinal purposes. However, one must be aware that cannabis is not currently an approved coronavirus treatment, which is what the world is waiting for today.

Study finds that cannabis could aid in our fight against superbugs


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