Right now, as the world works to further adjust to a new normal during the Covid-19 pandemic, it becomes easier to see big news making big claims. The news in favor of cannabis, CBD, or states legalizing is always big news for our community. Investigation, and follow up are always wise before taking a claim as supported or common knowledge. A recent headline caught my eye, “Cannabis and CBD Prevent Coronavirus” and I thought to myself how interesting the science of that would be. The article only provided some initial claims and quotes but with no explanation other than a vague claim of CBD can prevent the spread of Covid-19. I let it pass from my mind and I continued looking through other current news and research. Within a three day period, I saw that headline and story pass across several major news outlets but none could provide any explanations beyond the claim that somehow CBD is having an effect in prevention. I decided to further research and dig into the subject after I visited a dispensary and heard “CBD treats Covid-19”. The facts are in and before you run to the dispensaries, consider that stocks and future elections might prove more worth your time.
This wasn’t a local or national company making claims about a product, but rather a broader more complex kind of research. In experiments with 3D models of cell cultures from the University of Lethbridge biological science department, in which human cell cultures mimic symptoms from various diseases, prevention was seen from high CBD strains developed in their labs. The high CBD strains are not available in legal or recreational markets in the US or Canada, and were developed by researchers for this purpose of experiment only. The results demonstrated are that a form of CBD, not yet known or available, can shut down a common pathway used by Covid-19 called the ACE2 receptor. The ACE2 receptors is a major cell pathway through the mouth, lungs, and gut that when discouraged by those CBD strains of this pathway, would regulate the virus’s ability to enter cells and replicate. Those CBD strains showed a 73% downregulated use of the ACE2 receptor by the body. The study, from University of Lethbridge biological science department and its lead author Dr. Igor Kovalchuk is peaking interest from Canadian pharmaceutical companies hoping to target the ACE2 receptor when experimenting to create vaccines for Covid-19. Any development of a treatment would be in years, most likely as something sublingual, but that headline would fool anyone.
The bottom line is none of this is an endorsement of cannabis as a Covid-19 cure or prevention, but it might be a treatment someday in the future when further developed. The headline and claim are boof that have even been debunked by the study’s author who claims it was “overstated”. These kinds of claims are exciting and often welcomed as facts, but further research can always help you to understand. The real excitement of these discoveries comes when we decriminalize, conduct research, and find out how to make cannabis treatments better. This can affect how it’s seen on a global stage, especially if you are someone interested in cannabis stocks and investment. In Arizona, we are rapidly approaching an election that could decide whether our cannabis laws change. With five or so proposals being thrown around, many are trying to find common ground as the chances of passing reform this year are higher than the last time the initiative was on the ballot. Take time to learn about cannabis research, invest in smart stocks, and go to the polls to vote in local elections. The results could be life changing, and usher in a new period of knowledge, prosperity, and good health for our community.
Recommended Listening: Feelin’ Alright by Joe Cocker
Adrian Ryan was born in New Mexico and attended school since elementary in Arizona, his time growing up split between the two states. He hopes to work towards recreational cannabis, enjoys reading, writing, film, music, and also writing music.