Cannabis extracts may help to prevent coronavirus, preliminary study suggests

Canadian researchers are studying the potential for marijuana to be used to prevent coronavirus infections.

Researchers at the University of Lethbridge in Calgary are studying more than 400 strains of cannabis and have determined that at least a dozen may offer potential as part of treatments to prevent coronavirus from infecting a host.

According to the researchers, the effective strains have, in some instances, managed to reduce virus receptors, which reduces the chance for an individual to catch coronavirus.

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

Mr Kovalchuk said much more research would be necessary before they understand precisely whether CBD, THC or some combination of ingredients is causing the reduction in receptors.

He added researchers would likely focus on understanding how high-CBD strains work, as CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and can be taken frequently and in high-concentration without the risk of getting the patient high or otherwise impairing them.

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