Marijuana is now being studied for its potential to resist Covid-19. A subtext of the following story involves the Sisters of the Valley, a group of “Nuns” who don’t belong to any Order of the Catholic Church.
Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 5.10.2020
Cannabis researchers in Canada say the plant-based drug may provide resistance to SARS-CoV-2. Their preliminary findings are part of broader research into the use of medicinal cannabis in treating cancer.
And, now, preliminary research is emerging out of Canada that certain strains of the psychoactive drug cannabis may also increase resistance to the coronavirus. If the study, which is not yet peer reviewed, can be verified, it would appear that cannabis works in a similar way to nicotine.
“The results on COVID-19 came from our studies on arthritis, Crohn’s disease, cancer and others,” says Dr. Igor Kovalchuck, a professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge, in an email to DW.
Based near the town of Merced in California’s Central Valley, which produces over half of the fruit, vegetables and nuts grown in the United States, the Sisters of the Valley grow and harvest their own plants – cannabis plants.
Despite the moniker, the nuns don’t belong to any order of the Catholic Church. “We’re against religion, so we’re not a religion. We consider ourselves Beguine revivalists, and we reach back to pre-Christian practices,” says Sister Kate, who founded the sisterhood in 2014.
Sister Kate adopted the nun persona after she took part in an Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011 dressed as a Catholic nun, a look that led her to be known by protesters as “Sister Occupy.”
Members turn the hemp into cannabis-based balms and ointments, which they say have the power to improve health and well-being. Sister Kate reports that the group had roughly $750,000 (€700,000) in sales last year, the most since it started selling products in January 2015.
More than two dozen US states have legalized some form of marijuana for medical or recreational use, but the drug remains illegal at the federal level. California legalized recreational use of marijuana in November 2016. “We’ve gotten a few hate calls but, by and far, the Catholics understand what we’re doing,” Sister Kate says.
“The thing Trump has done for us is put a fire under our butts to get launched in another country,” says Sister Kate. “Our response to Trump is Canada.” The group makes online sales to Canada, and hopes to launch an operation there in two months.