coronavirus cannabis covid-19 marijuana research

Researcher Claims Cannabis Shows Promise Blocking Coronavirus Infection

The coronavirus pandemic continues to plague the world, with more and more people unfortunately being infected with every passing day.

A handful of countries that were previously battling significant outbreaks appear to be containing the spread of the virus, which is great news. Sadly, many more are struggling.

Researchers and scientists are scrambling to find anything that will help cure those that already have the virus.

According to at least one researcher in Canada, cannabis may help people avoid getting the virus in the first place, at least that is what the researcher and his team are claiming.

Blocking Infection

Dr. Igor Kovalchuk led a team of researchers at the University of Lethbridge that examined over 400 cannabis strains to see if any of them helped reduce the chances of someone being infected by the coronavirus strain.

Of the 400 strains examined, roughly a dozen of them showed promising results when cannabinoids were extracted from them according to the researchers.

“A number of them have reduced the number of these (virus) receptors by 73 per cent, the chance of it getting in is much lower,” Kovalchuk said according to Calgary Herald. “If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.”

The study was licensed by Health Canada and used artificial human 3-D tissue models.

While the study’s results were promising, the researchers clearly indicated that more research would be needed, including human clinical trials, before anything definitive could be determined.

Israel’s Research Project

Researchers in Canada are not the only ones exploring the relationship between cannabis and the coronavirus.

Scientists in Israel are also conducting cannabis-based studies to try to find ways to combat the coronavirus.

Unlike the researchers in Canada that are looking at preventing the coronavirus from infecting people, the researchers in Israel are trying to determine if cannabis can be used to treat people that already have the virus.

The research being conducted in Israel is much more extensive, and will actually involve a series of studies, including clinical trials, to see if CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can help treat coronavirus patients.

As with the research being conducted in Canada, it will be awhile before meaningful conclusions are made based on the research being performed in Israel.

Be Cautious Of Cannabis Coronavirus Claims

Be very, very leery of any claims about cannabis and the coronavirus until sufficient research has been conducted and the scientific and medical community come to a consensus.

Unfortunately, bad actors in the cannabis space are making wild claims about cannabis and the coronavirus.

Such claims, which have been limited, are not based on science, but rather theory and conjecture at best, or outright greed at worst.

A day may come when a cannabis-based treatment proves to be viable for preventing or treating coronavirus, however, that day is not likely to come soon (if at all). 

The cannabis plant can do many things, but curing coronavirus is not one of them, at least not based on current research.

Listen to the medical and scientific experts, and be safe out there!


  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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