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Study Finds Cannabis May Be Useful in Preventing, Treating COVID-19

By Melanie Arter | May 21, 2020 | 7:14pm EDT
A marijuana grower and dealer prepares to sell his new harvest for sale due to the announced nationwide twenty-one day lockdown in South Africa amid worries that he wont make any sales during that period at an undisclosed location on March 25, 2020. - He wears a face mask and gloves when harvesting, trimming, and packaging of the marijuana as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. (Photo by EMMANUEL CROSET/AFP via Getty Images)
A marijuana grower and dealer prepares to sell his new harvest for sale due to the announced nationwide twenty-one day lockdown in South Africa amid worries that he wont make any sales during that period at an undisclosed location on March 25, 2020. - He wears a face mask and gloves when harvesting, trimming, and packaging of the marijuana as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. (Photo by EMMANUEL CROSET/AFP via Getty Images)

A study by Canadian scientists found that “strong strains of cannabis” could help prevent and treat the coronavirus.

The study by researchers at the University of Lethbridge showed "13 cannabis plants high in CBD appeared to affect the ACE2 pathways" that the virus uses to access the body, the New York Post reports.

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

Her 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,” Igor told the Calgary Herald.

“The key thing is not that any cannabis you would pick up at the store will do the trick,” Olga told CTV.

Only a handful out of more than 800 varieties of sativa cannabis seemed to help, the researchers found. All of them were "high in anti-inflammatory CBD — but low in THC, the part that produces the cannabis high."

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