Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been keeping on top of research regarding the relationships between cannabis, CBD and COVID-19. The latest news is a mixed bag.
A recent Forbes article notes the potential for cannabis to both help and harm in cases of coronavirus. It should be noted that all the research contained therein is in its early stages, and that the studies have yet to include humans, so don’t look for solid conclusions anytime soon.
Having said that, it appears that cannabis, or more specifically the CBD and terpenes from cannabis, may have promise as a treatment for cytokine storms – a dangerous overreaction of the immune system that results in over-elevation of cytokines (proteins that are part of our immune response) and inflammation in severe cases of COVID-19. CBD, of course, has been shown to reduce inflammation, and shows promise in these early studies.
The potential problem is that CBD’s apparent ability to suppress the immune system, as seen in these extreme cases, may not be a good thing in preventing a user from contracting the coronavirus in the first place. The research here is even less well-formed, but there are indicators of a correlation between cannabis use and a higher risk of infection.
Researchers tend to agree also that the better the lung health of a given person, the less susceptible they should be to lung damage from coronavirus. To that end, smoking cannabis – or anything else – is generally regarded as placing the user at higher risk. Fortunately the cannabis industry has come a long way and marijuana can be consumed in many different ways no longer requiring -smoking to consume. Many edibles and tinctures allow you to leverage the benefits of cannabinoids as well as terpenes without the added risk to your lungs.
There does appear to be a financial silver lining for the industry as a result of coronavirus. Reuters notes that markets appear to be readying themselves for a series of mergers and acquisitions of cannabis firms. Among the reasons: more realistic stock valuations, the prospect of legalization at the federal level in the U. S. and increased demand for cannabis and CBD products since the beginning of the pandemic.
So while the news from medical research is mixed and incomplete, the markets seem to be voting for good times ahead.