Stoners everywhere are rejoicing this week after a recent study showed a link between cannabis and the prevention of COVID-19. Does cannabis prevent COVID?
Before you go lighting up a spliff thinking it will protect you from COVID-19, you should know a little more about the study and its actual findings. Researchers from Oregon State University conducted the study and published their report, “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants,” in the Journal of Natural Products.
Two compounds in hemp can prevent COVID-19, the study found.
The study found that two compounds in hemp plants, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), can bind with spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 and prevent the virus from entering into cells and causing infection.
“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” Richard van Breemen, the lead author on the study, said in reports. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”
Smoking weed won’t prevent COVID-19.
Smoking weed won’t help prevent COVID-19 because the CBDA and CBGA compounds are unstable in heat, van Breemen told VICE. The acids decompose when smoked or vaped, and the compounds convert to CBD and CBG.
“So, we know that CBD, CBG, and THC are not active against the virus. So, we would recommend in favor of an oral administration of these compounds instead of smoking them, inhaling them from vaping,” van Breemen said in the VICE interview.
He said taking CBDA or CBGA in the form of a dietary supplement like a pill, oil, or gummy right after you’ve learned you were exposed has the best possibility of preventing infection.
“But I don't advocate these particular compounds as a treatment or cure for someone who's hospitalized and severely ill,” van Beermen told VICE.
Cannabis isn’t a good alternative to vaccines.
Experts warn that data from this study is still new, hasn't been tested on humans, and shouldn't be an alternative to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
“What happens in a test tube does not always translate into what happens in animals or humans,” Dr. Patricia Frye, a physician and cannabis expert at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, told Forbes. “And given that there are now treatments for COVID infections in at-risk patients (monoclonal antibodies, anti-virals), I would not recommend using cannabis in lieu of available treatments if a person is at high risk of poor outcome.”
Potheads are still celebrating.
Potheads are still celebrating the news despite the disinformation circulating that smoking a joint can prevent COVID-19.
“To fight Covid we have no choice but to make marijuana mandatory and start fining people who aren't inhaling enough cannabinoids,” tweeted Dana Larsen.
“Weed literally helps protect you and recover from Covid. Smoke your weed and enjoy your edibles, it’s literally going to help save your life,” tweeted Dan(ager the Manager).
“Just a molecular study but take a look at this advance abstract! It's like the plot of "Herold and Kumar Stop COVID," tweeted Matthew Jones.