News CLAIM: News shared on a website MerryJane.com stating “Cannabis May Stop Coronavirus from Infecting People, Study Finds”, has been widely shared on Facebook.
The study, published online at Preprints, was conducted by a team of biologists licensed to grow marijuana and hemp under a Health Canada research license. Using 13 different cannabis oils extracted from newly developed strains, the team discovered that certain oils containing the cannabinoids CBD and THC could lower human cell production of two key proteins that serve as gateways for COVID-19 virus to enter the body and cause infection.
TRUTH & Verification: Canadian researchers are studying the potential for marijuana to be used to prevent coronavirus infections.
There is no physical difference between the two plants; there is simply the difference that the titles give them. Cannabis is the real name of the plant, the scientific name. Cannabis comes in many different forms and genus. The main strains of the plant are Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, and Cannabis Ruderalis. The plant can be used for many different things, as a recreational or medical drug, like hemp, as oil, the list goes on.
Marijuana, however, is a nickname of Mexican origin, coming from the word marihuana. Now this, since it is simply a widely spread colloquialism, means what it is associated with. So by this reasoning marijuana is the medical or recreational drug. This is what the name has been used for and so that is what it is.
Now, conclusion: Cannabis is the entire plant which means that the drug, still often called cannabis, is a bi-product of the plant and is what we would call marijuana.
So the news published by the website is misleading as initial research leads to initial findings of COVID 19 with the help of marijuana and not Cannabis.