Has Mike Tyson’s ritual of smoking $40,000 worth of weed every month been strengthening his immune system against the coronavirus pandemic? Probably not… but maybe! According to a new study by researchers at Canada’s University of Lethbridge, using cannabis could help treat COVID-19 by blocking coronavirus droplets from infecting human cells.
This non-peer-reviewed, pre-clinical study, titled “In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues”, was published in the peer journal Preprints in April. Lethbridge researchers began looking into a correlation between the two for a partnership between their university, pharmaceutical research company Pathway RX, and cannabinoid-based oral health company Swysh Inc.
Back in April, scientists conducted the tests by seeing how a limited sample of high-CBD cannabis sativa extracts interacted with ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels in artificial 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues. Apparently, the results suggested that hemp extracts with excessive CBD could help block proteins that provide a “gateway” for COVID-19 to enter host cells. They’ve published their initial findings after limited testing, but hope to look into it more as a beneficial aid in the coming months.
If these initial findings are investigated further and the peer reviews come back positive, then there’s a chance that formally legalizing a regulated cannabis industry will gain more approval in the US — at the very least, for the sake of slowing the coronavirus pandemic. That would make plenty of artists happy, including Drake and his weed business More Life Growth Company, Lil Wayne and his birthday blunts, Willie Nelson and his CBD product line for pets, Jenny Lewis and her own strain of weed, and Snoop Dogg with his literal bouquet of joints.
Editor’s Note: Consequence of Sound just launched its own capsule of custom face masks. Enter the Red Room with this damn fine mask that’s as strong as a cup of black coffee. Because in reality, it’s not only the owls who aren’t what they seem anymore.