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Cannabis Use for COVID-19: Is It An Effective Treatment

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At this moment, researchers all over the world are trying to find a way to treat the virus which has made the whole world change in only a few months. Many different theories and approaches are being tested to see if they have any impact on the consequences and longevity of COVID-19 and using cannabis is one of them. Research on this topic is still in its earliest stages, but the correlation has been found.

 

What Does COVID-19 Do to the Body?

First of all, we should look at the impact of COVID-19. When the virus enters its host, it causes an alarm to be raised within the body and the immune system gets ready to go into a fight. A protein called cytokine gets released and goes on to cause inflammation in affected areas to fight off the virus. COVID-19 causes the immune system to overreact, thus causing a phenomenon called a cytokine storm. This means that the body is starting to kill itself and shut down major organs. It has been the cause of death of many COVID-19 victims. It practically means that your body starts overreacting when met with it.

Cytokine protein causes major inflammations on the lungs, in this case on both of them, which is quite specific to this virus. Because of that and the fact that COVID-19 has the ability to go deeper within your respiratory system, it is way more dangerous than basic colds or influenza.

 

Where Could Cannabis Come into Play?

During the search for a treatment that would prevent the infection, lighten the symptoms, remove side effects, or even cure it completely, the talks about cannabis use as the potential approach have been raised. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD,  if properly used, have the potential to cure the symptoms of COVID-19, that is cytokine storms. Due to its causing respiratory problems, simply smoking cannabis can cause more harm than good. Instead, the usage of THC vape pens like this and cannabis oils has been proven to have an effect of calming down the overreaction of the immune system. Cannabis oils have also been recommended as a means of prevention, as cleaning the mouth and the nose with it could stop the proteins of the virus from catching on to the nerve cells. Most of the benefits are still unknown, as it has been only a few months worth of research.

 

Suppression of Immune Response

As previously mentioned, when met with the virus your body goes into the overactive mode, so the body temperature raises at abnormal levels. This kills the healthy cells in all the major organs, and they start to fail. CBD, in particular, has been found to lower inflammation and calm down the immune system hyperactivity. Some studies have even shown that CBD has the potential to even reverse some of the damage done to the lungs. The cannabinoids regulate the exact proteins that cause inflammation. Some of them have been tested and shown on animals that they can lower blood coagulation levels, which is one more issue that COVID-19 patients could be dealing with during and after the illness. Because of that, they are usually at high risk of strokes and heart attacks.

 

Panic and Anxiety

The factor that is usually being overlooked when talking about the consequences and side effects of COVID-19 is the mental stress that a person goes through when tested positive. That stress is what usually worsens the illness and hurries its progression. For example, if there is blood clotting, and the stress causes the heart to pump faster, the consequences could very easily be fatal. The use of medical cannabis will reduce anxiousness and panic, which will make the whole experience a bit easier. COVID-19 is a very unpredictable virus and the complications which it causes are extremely dangerous and could progress fast. Putting the body through additional stress will weaken it and the chances of getting infected and having worse symptoms are bigger and bigger.

Research

IMAGE SOURCE: https://unsplash.com/photos/Lr_MKzNGhUU

Like previously mentioned, it is still too early to have the full picture, but the interest in this topic is extensive. Scientists all over the world are looking into the correlation between medical cannabis and its potential benefits in the pandemic. In particular, the USA, Canada, and Iran have developed programs that deal directly with this subject. Until now, two public testings have proven that benefits like reduced inflammation are valid. There are four more confirmed testings, and these will deal with the effects on humans instead of animal subjects. The testing is done so that the large medical bodies, like the World Health Organization, would add it to the regular treatments and will give more funding to further the research. One of the issues is the prejudice that comes with the use of cannabis, and that is what has somewhat slowed down the approval process.

 

Potential Dangers

Even though this is a somewhat undeveloped field, there are no side effects and dangers that were proven to happen in relation to COVID-19 progression. There was one study published in recent months that claimed that consuming cannabis could cause the same harm as smoking cigarettes, and it was shot down because of the lack of evidence. However, it is better to find another way to consume it besides smoking, as this virus causes respiratory issues, so exposing your lungs to smoke of any kind is probably a bad idea. Using it in the oil or vape form is more cost-effective and has no foreseeable dangers. The worst thing that could happen is that nothing happens, so there is no harm in trying.

 

In these hectic times, any form of potential cure or relief is worth looking into, and the researchers seem to think so too. There have been major donations made to the continuation of the study on this subject. This research could also be a big plus in removing the stigma around the use of cannabis, especially for medical purposes. One of the most important things that it has done is that it has given new hope to the people who suffer from COVID-19. It is still early to talk about the cure, but finding relief for symptoms and side effects of it is a big deal in itself.

 

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B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday – North Island Gazette

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B.C. reported 407 new cases of COVID-19 province-wide on Tuesday, maintaining a steady rate of infection spread that provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry warns is still too high.

The situation in long-term care continues to improve, with no new outbreaks as public health officials focus their remaining supplies of available vaccines on senior facilities and front-line health care workers. There were 14 more deaths reported Tuesday, with 313 people in hospital, 71 in intensive care.

Of the new cases, 169 were discovered in the Fraser Health region, which has seen a significant decline in infections in the past few weeks. There were 124 new cases in the Vancouver Coastal region, 54 in Interior Health, 38 in Northern Health and 22 on Vancouver Island.

Like other provinces, B.C. is running low on vaccine as Pfizer expands its production facility in Belgium. Henry reported Monday that the time between doses will be extended to 42 days for some people to allow public health officials to focus the remaining vaccines on hand to complete long-term care immunizations. Available vaccine is also being reserved to deal with coronavirus outbreaks in acute-care wards.

There have been more than 122,000 doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine administered in B.C., with seniors in the community prioritized once long-term care and assisted living residents and staff have some protection from the novel coronavirus.

“The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is much higher than we want it to be,” Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Jan. 26. “We are asking for everyone’s help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province.”

RELATED: Trudeau assured of promised supply by Moderna CEO

RELATED: Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID-19 test


@tomfletcherbc
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Be prepared for more travel, continued business restrictions due to COVID-19 variants: Hinshaw – Calgary Herald

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Article content continued

While those numbers have been trending down for several weeks, the spectre of the wider spread from the variants has led the province to delay any plans to end a lockdown on bars, restaurants and gyms that dates to mid-December.

That’s led members of the hospitality industry to urge the province to provide financial support for businesses facing desperate times.

“Please present to your caucus our ask as an industry for additional financial support that would mirror what has been executed in Ontario that has helped immensely in keeping their hospitality industry alive,” Alberta Hospitality Association president Ernie Tsu wrote in an email to Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Richard Gotfried on Tuesday.

Trolley 5 Restaurant and Brewery owner Ernie Tsu in Calgary on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

He said the sector is seeking provincial grants to ensure 100 per cent rebates on property tax and utilities costs retroactive to December, when the latest lockdown went into effect.

And he repeated his plea for the province to produce data showing the role the industry plays in spreading the virus.

“With the current data still not available to our industry as to why we are still locked down, this financial aid would help to bridge the anxiety and mental health issues which are now starting to truly increase on a day to day basis,” wrote Tsu, who owns the Trolley 5 Brew Pub in Calgary.

But on Tuesday, Hinshaw said those restrictions need to remain in the face of the threat posed by the new COVID-19 variants.

“I know many Albertans and impacted businesses are eager to reopen, this is understandable and I wish it was not necessary to keep the restrictions in place a little while longer,” she said.

“The rise of the new variants also make it vital we not move too quickly, which could have dire consequences for our health system and our health,” she said.

Frustration over restrictions has led to increased disinformation and several incidents in recent weeks of enforcement and health-care officials being “mistreated, verbally abused or treated disrespectfully while carrying out their duties,” she said.

“We need to remember that COVID is the enemy, not one another.”

BKaufmann@postmedia.com

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Another 14 people die from COVID-19 in B.C., health officials report 407 new cases – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials reported 407 new cases, including 22 in Island Health, and 14 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours on Tuesday.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 65,234 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,168.

One of the deaths reported by the province was on Vancouver Island, bringing the total number of people who have died from the virus in the Island Health region to 19.

Of the new cases recorded, 124 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 169 are in Fraser Health, 22 are in Island Health, 54 are in Interior Health, and 38 are in Northern Health.

There are currently 4,260 active cases in the province, 313 people in hospital — 71 of whom are in intensive care — 6,450 and people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.

A total of 58,352 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 122,359 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, 4,105 of which are second doses.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said in a statement that the number of daily cases is much “higher than we want it to be” and urged everyone to bring the infection rate down.

“The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is much higher than we want it to be. We are asking for everyone’s help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province.”

Today’s data was released in a statement to the media.

Island Health

According to the latest data provided by Island Health, there are currently 195 active cases on Vancouver Island – a decrease of 16 since the province’s last update on Jan. 25.

Of the active cases, 22 are on southern Vancouver Island, 157 on central Vancouver Island and 16 on northern Vancouver Island.

Over the course of the pandemic, the Island Health region has reported 1,477 cases.

Island Health says their figures somewhat differ from the figures released by the provincial government due to “differences in timing of reporting across laboratory and public health data sources.”

Source: Island Health

More COVID-19 information

If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, public health contacts affected school community members directly. Regional health authorities also post-school notifications on their websites, providing the date and type of notification (outbreak, cluster or exposure) for impacted schools.

The Island Health school site can be found here.

Provincial mental health and anxiety support can be found at www.bouncebackbc.ca

Island Health’s COVID-19 data breaks down north, central and south Island case counts and lists the number of days since any new lab-diagnosed cases. You can find the data here along with any public exposures.

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