Well, the election came and went this year and unlike what many woke folks claimed, we still have a global pandemic to deal with. Imagine that… all those Europeans didn’t die to perpetuate a conspiracy theory about American politics…
The results of the election are still up in the air because 2020 apparently allows no closure on anything annoying. So too is the public perception of the severity of COVID-19 a matter for debate, apparently.
Hospitals have more COVID patients than ever before.
Cases are higher than ever before.
A thousand+ Americans are dying every day from it for a total of well over 240,000 this year so far.
Yet, the country remains divided on whether or not there is even a threat at all.
Adding fuel to that fire is the fact that as drug companies race to profit off of a vaccine to combat the virus, the mortality rate of the illness is actually dropping despite the rise in cases.
Part of this is due to increased testing. Part of it is due to better medical practices as health care professionals gain more experience treating Coronavirus patients. When all is said and done, though, assuming we someday put this bullshit totally in the rearview, we will likely learn that large, specific swaths of our population were never really “at risk”, at least as far as their own personal health was concerned.
Maybe the headlines will read, “Angry Males Between the Ages 30-50 Were Never at Risk of Death From COVID-19”
“Anyone Who Ate a Costco Hot Dog and Lived to Tell About It Gained Immunity to Coronavirus”
“Cannabis Proves to Be the COVID Killer Doctors Seek”
Ok, those first two might be far-fetched, but the more research that gets done on the matter, the more we are learning that the third option there might not be such a pipe dream after all.
Think about it… how many daily cannabis consumers do you know that have passed away due to COVID-19?
Of course, relying on one’s own very limited perspective is no way to judge anything, especially a disease, but fortunately, we have some science behind this theory so we thought we’d hash it out and determine…
FACT or FICTION: Can Cannabis Cure COVID-19?
COVID-19 vs. THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
We have probably all seen the visual representation of the Coronavirus by now, right? That spiky lookin’ ball lookin’ thing? You know, this one…
There may actually be some truth in that meme because those “spikes” are used by the virus to latch on to receptors in our bodies where it gains entry to the respiratory system. This is not totally unlike a more common cold or flu which takes much the same route. The difference is in the hunger of Coronavirus for more and more receptors which are found in higher abundance the lower one looks in the airways. If it makes it that far, its human host is likely going to experience the labored breathing and even threat of pneumonia that has sent so many Americans to bed, or to the hospital, or to the morgue.
Now, we’ll be the first to admit that nobody on the Beard Bros. Pharms crew went to medical school, but in this case, it probably wouldn’t matter because medical schools (and their graduates) are still incredibly naïve about the wonders of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in each and every one of us, and what role it plays in our overall wellness.
To be honest, the first time I ever heard the word “receptor” was when I was learning about the ECS years ago. So, to hear it now being used so prominently again when discussing the proliferation of COVID-19, my ape brain instantly makes the connection.
We know that the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and the rest of the naturally balanced, full spectrum of compounds found in the cannabis plant can have a multitude of beneficial results when treating a wide variety of illnesses.
Exactly how cannabis performs this task is one of the hottest topics in clinical research these days as the legalization movement behind the plant envelopes the nation, state by state, freeing up labs to finally perform long overdue studies.
What we do know, however, is that potent cannabinoids like CBD and THC work wonders on reducing inflammation throughout the body which is the root cause of so many health problems and a major contributing factor to how severe a case of COVID-19 becomes.
In extreme cases, a COVID patient may be forced to endure what is being called ‘cytokine storm syndrome’ in which too much cytokine is produced, flooding the lungs and respiratory system and creating hyper inflammation in the affected areas. This ‘storm’ can overwhelm a patient’s immune system, especially if their immune system is already compromised by other health-related issues.
This is likely why we see people with underlying medical conditions struggling so much more with COVID.
Though it has yet to be peer-reviewed, a study out of Israel has shown that a dosed combination of cannabis-derived terpenes and cannabinoids can be up to 2x more effective than the side-effect-riddled corticosteroid dexamethasone, when used to reduce inflammation from COVID-19.
We already mentioned that we didn’t go to medical school, so take this oversimplified explanation with a grain of kief but it appears that if you are flooding your ECS receptors with cannabinoids and terpenes, there just isn’t any room for COVID-19 to get through.
Researchers have studied more than 400 strains of cannabis – each with its own unique spectrum of compounds – to determine if cannabis has the potential to prevent infection by limiting the virus’s ability to bind to cell receptors. Several of the cultivars used successfully reduced the number of available virus receptors – some by as much as 73%!
It’s easy math… Less available receptors equate to less of a chance of getting infected.
Of course, Coronavirus common sense still applies. Sharing a joint with a stranger probably isn’t the best idea just yet. Coughing all over a friend, also not quarantine kosher.
Just in case you missed it the first couple of times we mentioned it, we are not doctors here at Beard Bros. Pharms, and none of what we have offered here should be construed as medical advice.
The fact is, in order for cannabis to be considered a legitimate weapon in the fight against the Coronavirus – either as a potential preventative or “cure” – mass-scale, peer-reviewed studies would need to be performed using homogenized samples across a wide and diverse array of COVID-19 patients. That simply is not going to happen anytime soon, unfortunately.
That being said, it would be irresponsible to claim that cannabis can definitively either prevent or put an end to COVID-19 illnesses…yet.
The hypothesis is logical.
Preliminary studies are providing hope.
A lot more work needs to be done.
What we do know is that cannabis consumption can reduce inflammation. Whether this helps you avoid Coronavirus infection or just makes your arthritic hands feel better after a long day, it’s a benefit to your overall wellness.
We also know that key cannabinoids like CBD and THC have been shown to reduce the impact of an overreactive immune system that can be caused by COVID and can do lasting damage to lung tissue.
Some healthcare professionals, usually incredibly ignorant about cannabis use and the ECS, have suggested that regular cannabis use leads to immunosuppression in consumers, which could invite illness like COVID into the body. However, we do have peer-reviewed studies showing no links between regular cannabis use and clinical immunosuppression or immunocompromization in otherwise healthy adults.
Fact? Fiction? Fuck if We Know!
As much as we would like to hold cannabis up as the answer to ending this mystery-riddled virus, we just don’t know yet.
The only advice we can offer is to smoke weed and eat Costco hot dogs and hope we can all sesh together again soon!