(WWJ) Would you use cannabis if it could help cure you of COVID-19?
Researchers at the University of South Carolina, Columbia believe that THC — the chemical in marijuana that induces a mid-altering or "high" sensation — could prevent the coronavirus from becoming deadly.
The scientists said studies show THC's anti-inflammatory powers might be able to fight off a devastating symptom of COVID that makes the body attack its own cells rather than fight the virus.
Specifically, it's believed that THC could prevent a harmful immune response that causes Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and cause a significant increase in healthy lung bacteria.
Testing with mice has been successful, according to researchers.
Human testing still needs to be conducted, but scientists say the research looks promising. Over dozens of experiments in the three separate studies, 100% of the mice given THC survived.
There is currently no FDA-approved drug right now to treat ARDS, so this could prove to be be a crucial revelation in the fight against COVID-19.
However, a word of caution: Study co-publisher Prakash Nagarkatti told The State that this does not mean it’s a good idea for people to begin smoking pot if they think they have coronavirus. Since THC suppresses the immune response, he said, smoking marijuana recreationally can actually make a coronavirus infection worse.
The studies were published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, the British Journal of Pharmacology and the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Read more about the research HERE.