Put that in your pipe and smoke it - Cannabis Treatment for COVID-19

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Not only did the University of Lethbridge - my Alma Mater - turn out some great artists decades ago (I blushingly admit being one of them), but has increasingly gained some recognition for their Science Departmentments. As a requirement I also took some Biology classes back then. But at that time in the late seventies, Marijuana was not legal. Medicinal use was legalized in 2001, and in 2018 Canada became only the second country in the world (and the first of G7) to to formally legalize the cultivation, possession, acquisition and consumption of cannabis and its by-products.

Cannabis in Canada

Igor Kovalchuk, University of Lethbridge biology professor - Image Source
U of L scientists develop new medical cannabis cultivars
that show promise in combating COVID-19 virus

"In partnership with the University of Lethbridge, Pathway RX, a research company focused on developing custom cannabis therapies, and Swysh, a company focused on cannabinoid research and development, have found that specific Cannabis sativa extracts show promise as an additional treatment for COVID-19."
APRIL 22, 2020

U of L scientists seek cannabis treatment for COVID-19

"In some COVID-19 patients, the immune system goes into overdrive and starts attacking the body itself in what’s called a cytokine storm. When lung tissue is attacked, it can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and the need for a patient to be placed on a ventilator.

Drs. Olga and Igor Kovalchuk, professors in University of Lethbridge’s Department of Biological Sciences, along with researchers from Pathway RX (a research company focused on developing custom cannabis therapies), have found that certain cannabis strains show the potential to tamp down an immune system that’s gone into overdrive, thus preventing ARDS from developing."
JUNE 8, 2020.
Read more in my former hometown newspaper THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD

Dr. Olga Kovalchuk
Medical cannabis against COVID-19 - from research to clinical use

May 28, 2020
Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs

The above dates back several months
Most recently reported again by CTV News, Friday, July 10, 2020:

Are new cannabis strains key to fighting COVID-19?
These Alta. researchers think so

"Two researchers in Alberta believe new strains of cannabis could potentially prevent the most fatal respiratory effects of COVID-19 and maybe even block the virus from entering the body at all.

The husband and wife team of Drs. Igor and Olga Kovalchuk at the University of Lethbridge have been studying the use of new strains of cannabis to fight cancer and inflammation. When the pandemic struck, they turned their attention to the novel coronavirus.

They hoped to find strains of cannabis that would interfere with the virus’ ability infiltrate the body by hijacking special proteins or receptors. One of the receptors, known as ACE2, has previously been determined to be a key doorway for the COVID-19 virus to enter the body."

The couple’s work was published as a preliminary report in a May issue of the online medical journal Research Square, titled: Fighting the storm: novel anti- TNFα and anti-IL-6 C. sativa lines to tame cytokine storm in COVID-19. It is undergoing peer review.

We came a long way from Reefer Madness:

I put this one in for comical relief - but in those days, they were serious about it!


It says "a three minute read" but the video with Dr. Olga Kovalchuk is over one hour long.

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Very interesting stuff! Cannabis continues to be the miracle plant. It's no accident that all vertebrates (including humans) specifically have endocannabinoid receptors.