The claims that marijuana cures Ebola virus has received quite a few headlines this week. Although the possibility of the drug being an answer to the unabated deaths from the disease sounds fascinating enough, the hard truth of the matter is that the claims are simply unfounded and they are nothing more the 'speculations' on its possibility.
The suggestion that cannabis could be a cure for Ebola (emphasis on 'could be') hit a few news websites after Former New Mexico governor and one-time presidential candidate Gary Johnson -- who is now the president and CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc, a company that produces medical and recreational marijuana – openly declared in a interview on Monday with Fox News that marijuana can be used to treat Ebola.
"We actually believe we have efficacy with regards to treating Ebola," he said.
Johnson, was however, quickly interrupted by the presenter who accused the former of overstating marijuana's medicinal benefits.
The fact of the matter, as it stands now, is that there have simply been no scientific experimentations conducted so far to see if the drug could be either a cure or an effective prevention for the disease.
Johnson on Thursday provided a clarification on his statement with the news channel, clearly stating that more research should be done on whether certain cannabis compounds might be effective in fighting the disease.
"If I were on a bed right now, and I was infected by Ebola, anything that might save my life I would take in a nanosecond," Johnson told the Albuquerque Journal, indicating that he had, in actual fact, no established evidence to specify such a correlation.
Speaking to IBTimes (India Edition), Morgan Fox from the Marijuana Policy Project, which is the largest organisation working solely on marijuana policy reform in the United States, said: "Marijuana prohibition has prevented scientific research into the medical potential of the plant and its components for decades. If marijuana were legal and regulated, such research would be able to move forward and could indeed provide a wide variety of solutions to modern health issues."
Fox, however, cautioned that he could not verify the "accuracy or medical legitimacy" of the claims that the drug could specifically help fight Ebola Virus.
The claim of marijuana being a cure for Ebola has been further bolstered with a few unfounded articles published online. One such article in a website called knownhater.com, which claims 'CBD Found In Cannabis Oil Protective Against Ebola Virus', have been shared multiple times on Facebook and Twitter.
But the article does nothing more than just speculating that the Cannabidiol – one of the 85 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis – "may offer" control of the disease, simply because "cannabis has already been recognised to inhibit fungus and bacteria and can be considered a new class of antimicrobial."
There is however, no scientific verification for the claims, which proves the statements are merely speculations.
Another small article posted in the popular African 'Nairaland' Forum – the same site, which previously posted about how Ebola was 'created by Western people' – is also spreading decent amount of rumours.
The article titled, 'Marijuana, A Good Cure For Ebola' has received around 4,000 views. But the post, which claims the drug "has the ability to kill the deadly Ebola virus", can never be taken seriously for the sheer reason that it can never be verified.
The author who identifies himself as "experimentist" is as obscure as his name, and there is simply no proof provided to verify the blatantly stated claims.