Rastafari in Barbados continue to call on the island’s government to include the traditional and customary use of cannabis within the framework of its Medical Cannabis Industry.
In an article dated April 2021, in the renowned American magazine ‘Forbes’, it was published that, ” A combination of compounds found in cannabis showed the potential to treat or even prevent coronavirus infections in human lung cells.”. It went on to say, ” Terpenes have shown the potential to treat a wide variety of viral infections in many, in vitro studies, and research released by Eybna last year found that NT-VRL combined with cannabidiol (CBD) showed promise as a treatment for the severe inflammatory response seen in many Covid-19 patients known as a cytokine storm.”.
An in vitro study occurs in a controlled environment, such as a test tube or petri dish. In vivo is Latin for “within the living.” It refers to tests, experiments, and procedures that researchers perform in or on a whole living organism, such as a person, laboratory animal, or plant.
NT-VRL, is a combination of 30 terpenes including beta-caryophyllene, eucalyptol and citral developed by cannabis technology company Eybna.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, though many people commonly associate them with cannabis because cannabis plants contain high concentrations of them.
Beta-caryophyllene or BCP, is found in aromatic oils like rosemary and clove oil, and in nature it’s most commonly found in hops, cloves, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, and basil.
Eucalyptol is a liquid with an odor of camphor that occurs in many essential oils such as of eucalyptus and is used especially as an expectorant and flavoring agent. It is also called also cineole.
Citral is the fragrant liquid occurring in citrus and lemongrass oils.
A cytokine storm occurs we persons become infected with a virus like COVID-19. The immune system often goes into overdrive and can lead to a life-threatening cycle known as a cytokine storm.
Cannabis has evolved from that substance your parents warned you about that only ‘Rastas’ and the misguided used. As research into cannabis’s therapeutic properties has developed, so has the mainstream use of cannabis products. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are prevalent because of their extensive therapeutic benefits and ease of use. With health benefits, including pain relief, improved anxiety, and reduced inflammation, it’s understandable why cannabis products have soared in popularity.
Ebyna the company doing the research on NT-VRL, when asked if the potential for its inhalation to be used as a preventative for coronavirus infections suggests that smoking or vaping cannabis could have a similar effect; Eybna CEO and co-founder Nadav Eyal said if a clinical trial of the compound as a preventative for coronavirus infections is successful, “due to the fact that NT-VRL terpenes are also found in cannabis strains, it can be estimated that cannabis evaporation will also have some effectiveness,”
Could it be that cannabis inhabitation could reduce the possibility serious COVID-19 infection? In 2011, the University of Louisiana conducted a study on the effects of THC on monkeys with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). The results were astonishing. 28 days before the monkeys contracted SIV, they were given doses of THC. This reduced the viral load and extended the life of the primate. In 2014, the same team gave the monkeys THC 17 months before the SIV infection stage. This not only increased T cell numbers, as well as decrease the viral load, but protected the apes against viral intestinal damage SIV patients usually suffer. Through theses tests, researchers are realizing the potential of THC as an immunostimulant.
What is known for sure, is that alcohol use, especially heavy use, weakens the immune system and thus reduces the ability to cope with infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
The African Heritage Foundation (AHF) suggests that the Ministry of Health does some research on the persons who are in their care, infected with COVID-19. How many of these persons use only cannabis and other natural herbs as a daily medicinal practice? How many use cannabis in combination with alcohol? How many do not use cannabis or alcohol? How many use only alcohol and to what degree? How many only use natural herbs excluding cannabis? Maybe if some of these statists are compiled, they may give some insight into how Barbados could better manage the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of its citizens.
Ras Simba Akoma