Alibi V.29 No.18 • April 30-May 6, 2020 

News on the Green

CBD on Steroids

New Clinical Trial puts CBD in the Ring against COVID-19

Finally, I have good news to share! Times of crisis often produce amazing innovation, so I’ve been researching any reports that link cannabis and COVID-19 to see if what kind of scientific breakthroughs may come of this madness. Of course there are those looking for some way, any way that marijuana could somehow be a miracle cure for the novel coronavirus, but a real, scientific effort to achieve new things with cannabis is being made in Israel.

Stero Biotech–a CBD research and development company based in Israel–announced a partnership with Mor Research Applications and Clalit to begin a study on patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 to monitor the effectiveness of CBD paired with steroid treatment.

Basically, when you go to the hospital with breathing issues, once of the first treatment plans you receive involves steroids to assist your lungs in fighting whatever it is they are up against. COVID-19 is notorious for causing a viral pneumonia that can’t be treated with currently available medications, so steroids are one of the first options for patient treatment that doctors turn to. If the steroids don’t work for you, you may have to be moved on to more serious treatment options like a ventilator. Once you’re hooked up to a ventilator, your chances of survival are not great, so it stands to reason that you’d want to do anything possible to make earlier treatment plans–like steroids–more effective.

This is where Stero Biotechs is stepping up. CBD is known to help reduce inflammation in the body, which is exactly what steroid treatment does. The study will monitor the effect of CBD and how it enhances the treatment effects of the steroids administered to 10 COVID-19 patients at Rabin Medical Center Golda HaSharon Campus.

“Steroid treatment is usually the first or second line of treatment for hospitalized patients. CBD enhances the therapeutic effect of steroid treatment and treats the bio-mechanism affected by the virus,” Stero Biotech announced in a press release. “The initial study will evaluate the tolerability, safety, and efficacy of the CBD treatment, for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 Infections.”

The study will then expand to 40 patients at multiple hospitals as it moves on in the clinical trial process. A successful finding of enhanced steroid treatment for patients with COVID-19 could not only change and save lives, but it would be an unprecedented chance for cannabinoids to change their reputation in the medical community for good.

Ironically, while CBD is about to save us all, Albuquerque CBD businesses–that meet Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s requirements to continue operating during the pandemic–are having to fight to stay open. Pamela Stahnke, owner of Rio Grande Hemp Company, says law enforcement officials have shown up at her business multiple times to try and force her to close.

“I have made painstaking efforts to do all of my due diligence and check all of the boxes required by the NMDOH, and time and time again I’m forced to show proof like I’ve done something wrong,” Stankhe said. “I appreciate law enforcement for all they do, but I don’t run a smoke shop. We are a legitimate business that helps people and fills an essential need.”

Until CBD and cannabis can be recognized for their inherently healthy properties, business owners in the industry will continue to struggle to stay open in the midst of low profits and pushback from government. Medical trials, like what’s being done in Israel, showing the wide array of benefits that CBD and cannabis can possess are essential in the long process of moving national legalization forward. Go, science!

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