Does Weed Cure Covid? Cannabis Heals During Pandemic Many Say
Is cannabis our way out of a three-year global pandemic?
2022 is off to quite a start for the cannabis industry, with the publication of a study that proclaims that cannabinoids– the active compounds in the cannabis plant– inhibited the reproduction and spread of coronavirus in an invitro lab study. Headlines quickly surfaced about the discovery, but with so much information coming out about COVID every day, it is hard to decipher what this study means and how cannabis can benefit patients.
Here’s everything we know so far about the relationship between COVID and cannabis:
The study was conducted by a team of researchers at Oregon State University, and found that certain cannabinoids (CBDA and CBGA) discouraged the Covid-19 protein from penetrating human cells. It only looked at these interactions using cells in a petri dish, and has yet to be tested using human subjects or even mice. Since there is still a federal ban on research using THCA (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) because it is a Schedule I substance, the study doesn’t contain information on how THCA, the most prevalent compound in cannabis, impacts the coronavirus.
It should also be noted that the CBDA and CBGA compounds were not introduced to the coronavirus via smoke inhalation, the common ingestion method for cannabis users. If cannabis compounds were to be used as a COVID preventative measure, it would be recommended via oral administration in a pill, gummy, or tincture, said one of the lead researchers. While the effects via smoke inhalation have yet to be studied, one would expect reduced efficacy given the cannabidiolic acid is unstable under heat.
Another study out of the University of Waterloo in Canada suggests that CBD might “prime” the immune system for COVID protection. A different study published in the peer-reviewed journal Life used a proprietary formula of CBD and botanically-derived terpenes to treat the inflammatory response to COVID known as “cytokine storm”. Both studies reached a similar conclusion: that cells that have already been treated with cannabinoids PRIOR to coronavirus infection showed the best results for prevention. However, all of these studies have yet to reach human trials, and results vary widely with the complexities of the human body.
Censorship of these Clinical Findings?
Understandably, the study from Oregon State has made its rounds on the internet, late-night television, and social media. But as recently as this morning (Fri Jan 14) Instagram was removing stories related to the study.
While Facebook and Instagram have been dedicated to correcting misinformation about COVID and vaccines, why are they censoring peer-reviewed scientific literature?
Key Takeaways for Avoiding COVID
While research will continue for years to come on COVID-19 and the various ways to prevent infection, here’s everything we know now:
The number one way to prevent a severe COVID-19 infection that results in hospitalization and intubation is the approved vaccine.
Wearing a mask, avoiding large social gatherings, and quarantining when symptoms are present are the best actions to take in effort to avoid infection.
Orally ingesting CBD, whether cannabis or hemp derived, is a harmless way to assist the immune system according to the studies shared in this article.
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