Can cannabis prevent COVID? Maybe – but not by smoking it, experts say.
JULIA MAARNIN – What you need to know. A new study from Oregon State University suggests that cannabis compounds may prevent COVID-19 infection in human cells. Experts say that smoking marijuana will not help. MATILDE CAMPODONICO, AP This article is Unlimited Access. Subscribe to our daily coronavirus newsletter for more coverage Subscribe now to support our commitment towards public service journalism. Social media has been abuzz about a study that found cannabis components can protect against coronavirus infections.
Experts say that smoking cannabis won’t protect you from the virus. CBGA (from cannabis sativa) and CBDA were shown to block coronavirus, as well as its “emerging variants,” from infecting human renal cells in a peer-reviewed laboratory study. This was done by Oregon State University researchers. According to a university news release, the compounds blocked the virus’s use of the spike protein SARS-CoV-2 to infect people. This research has received a lot of attention. It states that coronavirus infections can be treated or prevented by small-molecule therapeutic agents. $2 for 2 Months Subscribe to Our Website, App, eEdition, and More CLAIM OFFER Jimmy Kimmel joked about the study on Jan 12, mentioning another cannabis compound, which is sometimes legally sold in shops, according to the New York Times.
THC, the more well-known psychoactive compound in cannabis, produces a feeling of euphoria when it is ingested in edibles or smoked. McClatchy News was told by Dr. Michael Beazely (associate professor at University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) that the first thing you should know before anyone smokes pot is that COVID-19 can be contracted through this method. This means that human kidney cells were used to test the results, and not human beings. Kirk Tousaw, a former cannabis lawyer, pointed out that the study also used hemp-derived CBD and CBG–A in amounts virtually impossible to obtain by smoking weed.
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STUDY ‘HINTS at THERAPEUTIC POTENIAL’ Beazely believes that the findings are both “interesting” and “preliminary.” However, it doesn’t provide any evidence that would be clinically relevant (i.e. They can be used to treat human diseases. These compounds can be used as a basis for future research, including in vitro and preclinical animal studies, and human studies.” According to the study, the cannabis compounds were screened using “affinity selection mass spectrometry” screening. Beazely explained that this was done to “identify small molecules (certain cannabinoids),” and “measure their effect on the ability to interact with SARS-CoV’s spike protein.” According to McClatchy News, the compound “CBDA” isn’t the CBD that’s readily available for certain people “if they live” in a state that permits CBD sales.
Kari L. Franson from the University of Southern California was a professor of clinical pharmacy. Beazely also stated that “if you smoke marijuana, you actually inhale CBDA, not CBDA.” According to Dr. Richard van Breemen, the findings of the study have shown that CBD, CBG, and THC are not effective against the virus if they are smoked. He also stated that it is possible to inhale more CBDA if you smoke a joint. Beazely agreed that these therapies need to be tested in a variety of other settings before they can be proven safe and effective. Holle said that the study doesn’t show that cannabis is safe and effective. Franson cited a previous study that showed CBD could block the coronavirus spike protein. Van Breemen’s results refute this earlier research. Franson stated that it was unfortunate that we had conflicting results from an earlier trial.
Van Breemen admitted that “there have been reports some of the other connected cannabisoids like CBD certainly had anti-inflammatory activity.” WebMD states that smoking marijuana is a risk factor in COVID-19 because it affects the lungs. VICE spoke with Van Breemen, who said he would like to see a “follow up study” where they can develop the oral dosage. He also stated that this work was “an important type of basic science discovery