Canadian scientists have called for more research into the efficacy and safety of cannabinoids as a potential treatment for Covid-19 and long Covid following a spate of positive reports.

A scoping review by a team from Dalhousie University explored the potential therapeutic role of cannabinoids in limiting the susceptibility to – and severity of – the disease before and after infection. 

They found cannabinoids may help prevent viral entry, mitigate oxidative stress, and alleviate the associated cytokine storm, the phenomenon whereby the body produces too many cytokines to fight viruses – believed to be the main cause of Covid deaths.

However, the researchers stressed that the majority of studies have been conducted in contexts other than Covid-19, meaning “extrapolation of these findings… requires caution”.

They called for more clinical trials and studies to investigate underlying mechanisms, optimal dosages/schedules, and the safety and potential side effects associated with endocannabinoid system (ECS) modulation in the context of viral infections.

“Despite the promising outlook, a comprehensive understanding of these aspects is crucial for establishing the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and ECS modulation on the onset of Covid-19 and lingering symptoms associated with long Covid,” they added.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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