• June 2, 2020

Cannabis Offers Potential Resistance to Coronavirus

Credit: Christina Winter

An Alberta, Canada researcher says a new study shows that cannabis extracts are showing potential in making people more resistant to the novel coronavirus.

After sifting through 400 cannabis strains, researchers at the University of Lethbridge are concentrating on about a dozen that show promising results in ensuring less fertile ground for the potentially lethal virus to take root, said biological scientist Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, according to an article in the Calgary Herald.

“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,” said Kovalchuk. “If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.”

Employing cannabis sativa strains over the past three months, the researcher said the effective balance between cannabis components THC and CBD — the latter more typically associated with medical use — is still unclear in blocking the novel coronavirus.

“It will take a long time to find what the active ingredient is — there may be many,” said Kovalchuk, whose Pathway RX is owned partly by Olds-based licensed cannabis producer Sundial Growers and partnered with Alberta cannabis researcher Swysh.

But it’s generally the anti-inflammatory properties of high-CBD content that have shown most promise, he added.

“We focus more on the higher CBD because people can take higher doses and not be impaired,” said Kovalchuk.