Cannabis News

Could strong cannabis (CBD) help treat and prevent the novel coronavirus?

strong cannabis may be an effective treatment for coronavirus covid-19

strong cannabis may be an effective treatment for coronavirus covid-19

As the novel coronavirus, “COVID-19”, continues to cause illness all over the world, some scientists are researching numerous options for treatment and possible prevention – including existing drugs. Medical cannabis is one option to prevent the coronavirus that’s gained a lot of attention recently.

A recent study by a team of scientists in Canada has shown promise with regards to high CBD as an effective treatment and/or preventative for coronavirus infections. For many, this may come as no surprise, although for others, this could be the kind of discovery that helps to bring new believers into the fold when it comes to understanding the potential benefits of the cannabis plant.

The source of the potential benefit is CBD’s ability to block proteins that provide an entry point into humans, causing Covid-19. It has been suggested that high CBD strains and/or concentrates are the key to treatment and prevention. For those that are unaware, CBD is just one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis, and differs from its more well-known counterpart THC, which causes psychoactive effects.

CBD has been touted for a variety of health issues, including epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. One of the key features of CBD is its ability to lower inflammation and neuropathic pain, “two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat”.1 Of course, understanding CBD’s ability to treat/prevent the spread of coronavirus is still in its infancy, and much more research is needed. However, the Canadian based group found it “could reduce the virus’ entry points by up to 70 percent”2, something that would be hard to understate.

Could strong cannabis help treat and prevent corona virus?

Researchers from the University of Lethbridge in Canada said a study in April showed at least 13 cannabis plants were high in CBD that appeared to affect the ACE2 pathways that the bug uses to access the body.

“We were totally stunned at first, and then we were really happy,” one of the researchers, Olga Kovalchuk, told CTV News.

The results, printed in online journal Preprints, indicated hemp extracts high in CBD may help block proteins that provide a “gateway” for COVID-19 to enter host cells.

Kovalchuk’s husband, Igor, suggested cannabis could reduce the virus’ entry points by up to 70 percent. “Therefore, you have more chance to fight it,” he told CTV.

“Our work could have a huge influence — there aren’t many drugs that have the potential of reducing infection by 70 to 80 percent,” he told the Calgary Herald.

While they stressed that more research was needed, the study gave hope that the cannabis, if proven to modulate the enzyme, “may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility” as well as “become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.”

Cannabis could even be used to “develop easy-to-use preventative treatments in the form of mouthwash and throat gargle products,” the study suggested, with a “potential to decrease viral entry” through the mouth.

“The key thing is not that any cannabis you would pick up at the store will do the trick,” Olga told CTV, with the study suggesting just a handful of more than 800 varieties of sativa seemed to help.

All were high in anti-inflammatory CBD — but low in THC, the part that produces the cannabis high.

The study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, was carried out in partnership with Pathway Rx, a cannabis therapy research company, and Swysh Inc., a cannabinoid-based research company.

The researchers are seeking funding to continue their efforts to support scientific initiatives to address COVID-19.

“While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is crucial for the future analysis of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19,” the research said.

“Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.”


It’s clear that many are still skeptical about using cannabis (CBD) for treatment. However researchers feel that every form of medicine should be tested and explored. With so many people looking for any kind of cure for the SARS-cov-2 virus, we too have high hopes that cannabis may be a perfect addition to the medicines prescribed to help heal and prevent.

  1. “Cannabidiol (CBD) — What We Know and What We Don’t”, August 24, 2018, Peter Grinspoon.
  2. Scientists Believe Cannabis Could Help Prevent and Treat Coronavirus”, May 21, 2020, Lee Brown.