As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, Jamaica faces an evergreen challenge of providing the best care possible to patients – all the while as it takes a toll on the country’s overburdened healthcare system.
Meanwhile, one producer of medicinal hemp, Virtudes, believes the plant could help stem the tide of long recovery periods and severe symptoms for patients.
Dr Heinz-Peter Becker, a clinical psychologist, acupuncturist and naturopathic doctor, supports Virtudes’ position and is one medical professional who has seen remarkable improvement in the recovery of patients that have contracted the virus and the reduction in the intensity of the symptoms associated with the virus.
He says: ‘Based on research being carried out by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the results I have seen in my own patients, there is a massive increase in the effectiveness of immune system boosting treatments that have been infused with CBD (cannabidiol). It is the best thing to treat COVID-19 – bar none.’
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of hospitalisations and deaths with individuals who have contracted the virus and are experiencing varying degrees of the symptoms, some of which include severe aches and pains, loss of appetite and loss of taste.
Growing evidence based on current studies being carried out has revealed that CBD-based treatments may be able to relieve some of the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
While there are warnings around smoking cannabis, CBD-based extracts administered by medical professionals have been shown to reduce at least one of the life-threatening effects of COVID-19: acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Virtudes CEO, Jamiel Jamieson, sees the potential of helping thousands of people recover faster from COVID-19 if there is a targeted approach to developing CDB treatments as part of patient care.
He says: ‘There is a strong connection between the potency of CBD-based products and the benefits than can be derived from them, especially for those suffering from the effects of COVID-19.’
‘There is a large body of research that supports this approach and we would be more than willing to support a national effort towards exploring other treatment options that gives everyone a reasonable chance at recovery.’
Dr Becker went on to say that the best fight against COVID-19 is to strengthen your immune system to be able to fight the virus; he said; ‘The reality is that most people will contract the virus, and so to ensure that you survive it you need to have a strong immune system.’
‘A regular infusion of CBD-based products as part of a multi-modal treatment of your immune system management has been proven to help fight against the virus.’
Observations made on COVID-19 patients being treated in Israel showed that those with weak immune systems – mainly from comorbidities – were more likely to contract the virus, experience the most severe degrees of the symptoms and have the longest recovery rate.
However, studies show that several high CBD extracts can help patients fight against viral infection better as it decreases the receptors that are used by the COVID-19 virus to enter the body.
These tests are promising and will form the basis for further large-scale validation and clinical studies.
Virtudes is one of the few Jamaican companies which produces organic feminized hemp flowers that are suitable for producing CBD products.
Its 136-acre farm recently began production of medicinal hemp which is considered to be on the cutting edge of COVID-19 treatments.
The company plans to expand its distribution footprint beyond Jamaica’s shores and connect with customers as far as Australia in the coming months.