The use of cannabis for the treatment of COVID-19 is unknown and scientific literature is ambiguous on this topic.
On the one hand, cannabis compounds have an excellent track record as immunosuppressive agents and as such they have therapeutic potential to reduce inflammation and cytokine storm in case of COVID-19. However, on the other hand, the molecular actions of cannabinoids might actually make it easier for the virus to enter our cells and/or make COVID-19 infection to be more severe. Since this is pure scientific speculation and has not been directly tested, we advise to be cautious with the use of cannabis compounds with respect to COVID-19 and to consult a physician before either start or discontinue the use of medical cannabis.
Please, read the article we wrote for the scientific Journal of Cannabis Research in the following link https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-020-00030-4
Due to the world situation we are experiencing regarding the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the GH Medical team would like to share with you the result of a quick but deep research we have done about the potential implications of cannabis use and COVID-19.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that is currently spreading all around the world causing a huge health and economic crisis. The pathogen of the disease, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus (SARS-CoV-2), is a recently identified coronavirus strain which causes a wide range of symptoms, including fever, cough, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of smell and taste and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can develop into pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cytokine storm, septic shock and death.
The main route of transmission of COVID-19 is through the air, where droplets from an infected person travel to the nose, mouth or eyes of another person. Once the virus is inside the body, it enters into the cells causing the infection.
Scientists have discovered that COVID-19 enters into our body through a specific receptor located in our lungs. This receptor is called ACE-2 and is located specifically in the alveoli, which are responsible of the oxygen exchange to provide oxygen to our body. When the virus infects these cells, these cells starts to fail in their endeavor, compromising the full organism. The organism then reacts against the virus using the immune system, which needs to be healthy to work efficiently.
Even though there is no much research on how cannabinoids can affect this process, we have been reading most of the literature that is related to the mechanisms used by the virus and its potential link to cannabis use.
Our findings suggest that cannabis use probably does not represent any benefit in the case of COVID-19 infection. Any potential benefit derived from the use of cannabis in the case of the disease, does not represent any advantage compared to the recommended medication and guidelines from the World Health Organization. Our speculative scientific review of the literature suggests that cannabis use might increase the levels of ACE-2 receptors in our lungs. If that would be the case, the use of cannabis during a COVID-19 infection might not be advisable.
We want to highlight that there is not enough scientific evidence to support our findings on ACE-2 and cannabis use. We consider our findings scientific speculation. However, based on the existing scientific literature, we believe there is a possibility that this could be true. We believe that the therapeutic potential of cannabis during a COVID-19 infection does not outweigh the potential risk of its use.
We also want to point out two statements made by other science-based medical cannabis communities like the International Association of cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) or the Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC). These statements and/or research can be found in the following links:
IACM COVID-19 Statement "there is no evidence that individual cannabinoids -- such as CBD, CBG or THC -- or cannabis preparations protect against infection with the SARS-CoV2 virus or could be used to treat Covid-19, the disease produced by this virus. Also, there is no evidence that the use of cannabinoids could increase the risk of viral infection"
SCC COVID-19 Statement "the antiviral action of specific cannabinoids have not been established to the extent that they should be recommended as a treatment option for COVID-19"
Finally, we want to highlight that the GH Medical team is made up of research scientists, we are not medical doctors. Hence, we do not recommend to take any action regarding cannabinoids or any other drug without asking your medical doctor.
Take care, stay home, stay safe.
The GH Medical team.