A must-see interview with Dr. Igor Kovalchuk on how CBD-dominant strains of cannabis protect us from the coronavirus

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In an eye-opening 40-minute interview (below) about his recently published paper on cannabis and the coronavirus, Igor Kovalchuk, MD, PhD, discusses a wide-range of topics that includes:

How he has received a “deluge of calls” from scientists including a physician at a NYC hospital who gave CBD and CBG to 6 elderly patients with coronavirus disease and who are now “all doing extremely well.”

His embrace of the Entourage Effect. He says that full flower extracts with high-CBD and high-terpene profiles work best.

His preference for CBD-dominant strains because there’s no adverse effects; notably, feeling drugged, and thus patients don’t back away from taking it like they’ll do with high-THC strains.

A varied list of conditions that his own research shows medicinal cannabis (MC) can treat: Skin disease such as psoriasis; colon and breast cancer; infections — “if it’s an infection cannabis definitely should help”; and the catch-all — “chronic inflammation, that’s where cannabis thrives.”

His team’s soon to be published cytokine storm paper that shows MC can cause a “dramatic decrease in pro-inflammatory molecules.”

His interview begins with a nice analogy explaining how CBD-dominant strains protect us against the coronavirus. Think of a building, he says, with a hundred doors and 1,000 people trying to get inside within a minute. If you reduce the number of doors to 20 then the number of people who can get inside the building within the 60 seconds is greatly reduced. In essence, that’s how MC protects us: it reduces the number of receptors – the doors – on the surface of our cells – the buildings – that the virus uses to gain entry. The less entry you have the easier it is for our immune system to pick off the intruders – it’s a numbers game.

And there was something else he said, quite striking, about the sweeping way in which the coronavirus attacks us. Kovalchuk calls it ‘receptor amplification’: when the virus enters a cell the number of receptors increase – amplify – on neighboring cells and cells throughout the body that carry this kind of receptor. So for example when the virus enters a lung cell it will amplify the number of these receptors which are also found in the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, gut, and brain “and in this way will force us to succumb to disease that’s more complicated.” Or as the journal Science framed it in a recent article, “How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes.

Hence the international attention (it even moved the stock market) that Dr. Kovalchuk’s research is receiving. Because in analyzing the coronavirus-caused amplification of receptors his team “identified several extracts [of CBD-dominant MC] that dramatically decreased the expression of the receptor that the coronavirus uses.”    

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