Can medical marijuana or cannabis derivatives help treat Covid-19 as claimed by several videos that have gone viral in recent times?
Several Nepali social media users have recently posted claims suggesting that scientists have found “evidence” that medicines made from marijuana or cannabis could “help in the treatment of Covid-related illnesses”.
The TikTok videos used clips from several Indian media outlets like this one from TV9 Bharatvarsh which was reporting the findings of a Canadian Study which said that “marijuana plant derivatives could stop or slow down the cytokine storm which causes damage and even death in those infected”.
A Nepali online media outlet, too, tweeted a similar claim on 9 October 2020.
Fact Check / Verification
Although Nepal has a long history of the use of cannabis and marijuana as Ayurvedic medicine or an offering to Hindu god Shiva, the government banned farming, trade or consumption of the commonly available botanical in 1973. Even so, cannabis seeds are widely consumed as food – especially in traditional pickles.
Cannabis Help Fight Covid-19?
Internationally, however, several kinds of research on medical marijuana and cannabis derivates are ongoing, particularly in western countries. Some researchers are also exploring whether cannabis-based drugs could treat or prevent Covid-19.
In Israel, scientists say they have found new insights into the use of cannabis in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, but it’s too early to conclude that cannabis can help. Elsewhere, cannabis compounds are reported to have exhibited “anti-inflammatory activity in vitro in Covid-19 related inflammation in lung epithelial cells and pro-inflammatory activity in macrophages”.
Still, as far as fighting Covid-19 with cannabis-based drugs is concerned, none of the researches has shown promising results just yet. And yet researches are continuing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other reputed health-research institutes are yet to endorse cannabis or marijuana for the treatment of Coronavirus-related ailments.
While studies are still in progress on therapeutic uses of cannabis in the treatment of ailments like asthma, glaucoma, as an antidepressant, appetite stimulant etc, WHO says, more research is needed to find better therapeutic agents to cure other ailments.
In fact, the WHO warns that smoking cannabis or marijuana could lead to such health problems as impairment of cognitive functioning, cannabis dependence syndrome, airway injury, lungs inflammation and even chronic bronchitis.
Claims that drugs made from cannabis or marijuana can cure Covid-19 is False. Scientists are still researching various drugs for Covid treatment.
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