Can Marijuana Prevent Coronavirus? Inside Brand New Canadian Study

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Can Marijuana Prevent Coronavirus? Inside The New Canadian Study

Since coronavirus largely effects the respiratory system, until now, doctors have believed that smoking anything — including pot — could put people at risk. But what if the opposite is actually true? 

According to a new study out of Canada, marijuana could actually help prevent COVID-19, and the results are definitely interesting.

So what's the link between weed and preventing coronavirus?

Can marijuana prevent coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Here's what we know so far. 

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At least a dozen strains of marijuana could be effective in preventing coronavirus. 

According to a study out of the University of Lethbridge in Calgary claims that, after studying 400 strains of marijuana, researchers were able to identify at least 13 strains that could be helpful in blocking COVID-19 from infecting the mouth, intestines, and lungs.  

“A number of them have reduced the number of these (virus) receptors by 73 percent, the chance of it getting in is much lower. If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected," said scientist Dr. Igor Kovalchuk. 

It works by changing ACE2 levels.

These strains of marijuana would be able to change ACE2 levels, which is an enzyme. It would work by keeping the virus from finding a host in the body, protecting someone who had been exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient.

This treatment would be effective via CBD oil, not smoking.

CBD oil is what's being studied here — not using the strains via smoking. Researchers found that these strains would need to be high in anti-inflammatory cannabidoid cannabidiols, which makes sense, since we've heard a lot about how inflammation can play a role in contracting coronavirus and the severity of the case.

It could be used to create several different at home treatments. 

If effective, these CBD oils could be used to produce products like mouthwash, inhalants, or gel caps, which could all be taken at home — creating a pretty accessible and hopefully affordable way to safeguard ourselves and help to reduce the risk of infection across large populations. 

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The evidence still isn't conclusive, though. 

It's also important to note that this evidence hasn't been peer reviewed yet, and it's hard to say for sure whether the findings will actually end up leading to a preventative product on the market. Researchers also have yet to figure out what ratio of THC to CBD would need to be used in these products, either, so there could still be a long way to go before we see these products on shelves — If they ever make it to shelves at all. 

Smoking marijuana (or anything else) is still thought to be dangerous during the pandemic. 

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A post shared by Centers for Disease Control (@cdcgov) on May 11, 2020 at 8:30am PDT

Despite these preventative properties, doctors still recommend against smoking anything at this time, since a weaker lung capacity can put people at risk of developing a worse coronavirus infection. At this point, that includes marijuana, vaping, and traditional cigarettes. 

Hopefully, this study is a sign that good news is on the way. 

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.