…the elephant in the room. The events following the murder of George Floyd by racist police last week touched off massive protests, civil unrest and an ugly, brutal response by police departments nationwide. This has obviously been on everyone’s mind around the world and it’s a situation that will last for an unknown length of time. In this podcast/blog I try to avoid very controversial political topics as the aim is to educate and bring people together, not to divide. However, given the nature of the war on drugs, which is heavily rooted in racism, it is impossible to not mix cannabis with politics. I will address this issue in greater detail in an episode very soon and the next blog post will be discussing this as well. In the meantime I hope that everyone stays safe and that we take care of each other. It’s all we really have right now. For the moment, back to more positive news about our favorite plant.
Many people are undoubtedly thinking…”See? I told you cannabis will save us from coronavirus! Oh, pot! Is there anything you can’t do?” as cannabis once again made the headlines, this time following a study in Lethbridge, Alberta in Canada. Any bit of good news is very welcome right now, especially given the current coronavirus situation and the state of the world overall. However, we must also avoid hype and false hope so as not to put people in a situation where they fall ill and then are royally upset or disappointed that ripping bongs didn’t provide the desired results.
Cannabis stocks rose as a result of this headline, though this should be taken with a grain of salt. Stockholders of cannabis companies jumped for joy, but before everyone starts celebrating, we should all bring ourselves back down to earth for a moment. The devil is in the details here, as the study included only certain types of high-CBD/low-THC strains, which may serve as a possible treatment, which does not mean it is a cure. The big prize right now is on either a vaccine, which can still take months to years, or on a treatment that reduces the mortality rate to an easily manageable level. Neither are available as of this moment, so we can’t talk about a cure just yet, though we are seeing that cannabis may help ease certain symptoms, such as aches and pains and insomnia.
However, before you spark and pass that ultra-sticky, dank moonrock blunt wrapped in gold paper and sculpted into a Dutch windmill, remember that the cannabis tested in this study is a CBD extract, which means it has very low concentrations of THC, i.e. it won’t get you high. These are also strains that aren’t exactly yet readily available to the general public. Additionally, most people that take cannabis oil do it for very serious medical reasons, such as epilepsy, cancer, etc. On top of that, doctors are recommending avoiding smoking and/or vaping ANYTHING if you can as this may have a negative effect on your air passages and make you more susceptible to contracting a respiratory illness. CBD oil does have totally legitimate medical uses as well, as the study demonstrates, but once again we see a rush to say any type of cannabis will cure any disease. People must not forget that everyone has a different biochemistry and that people may have different reactions to the same strain.
As has been the case with RSO, people like to make wild claims in order to make headlines or as clickbait. This is not to say that cannabis is just a shot in the dark and should be avoided altogether. Quite the opposite, RSO can be very effective, but anecdotal evidence is not enough, especially in a clinical context. There have been plenty of people who have taken RSO and have not gotten any better or have died, despite the claim by shady companies that it will cure nearly any malady. Obviously more research needs to be done and this will take some time. Cannabis does show promise with respect to treating some symptoms of COVID-19, but don’t ditch those masks and stop washing your hands just yet. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, pun absolutely intended.