A new study in Oregon has stirred quite a number of rumours about Covid-19 and cannabis…but what’s true and what are, just that…rumours? Let’s find out!
While many cannabis users claim that smoking weed has helped them fight off various infections and viruses, one needs to be more specific and scientific when it comes to medical claims.
A new study that has emerged from Oregon State University has identified cannabis compounds, or more specifically, cannabinoids, as a therapeutic agent to prevent coronavirus infections by blocking the virus from entering human cells.
According to the authors responsible for this study, a widespread of these compounds from cannabis plants (and vaccinations) could help fight the pandemic spread and the diseases of people who get infected.
But can cannabis cure Covid-19?
Scientists from Oregon State University were not in isolation in this study. They were joined by others from Oregon Health & Sciences University, all looking for a biological compound that could tie in with the spike protein of the SARS-COV-2 virus, which is the cause of COVID-19.
They used a technique called affinity-selection mass spectrometry on cannabis and the researchers narrowed it down on 3 cannabinoids: Cannabigerolic acid (CBG-A), and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A), and Cannabidiolic acid (CBD-A). However, THC-A is a federally controlled substance, so the researchers were unable to assess its effects which is why they focused on the other two cannabinoids.
So, what did they find? These cannabinoids are bound to spike proteins found on the virus and they blocked a step that the pathogen uses to infect people.
Dr Rachel Knox, thought leader, explains it best here:
‘To be clear, we’re talking about acidic cannabinoids (in a pre-decarb state). Too many folks out here are still misguided on this subject, believing or even joking that this article proves they’re good because they smoke their cannabis. As a reminder, smoking anything makes one more susceptible to catching respiratory illnesses, and smoking cannabinoids decarboxylate whatever’s left to be decarboxylated. If you want any of the benefits the acidic cannabinoids potentially confer, smoking your marijuana won’t get you them.’
Rather than cure…cannabis can block Covid-19
CBG-A is only found during the live, growing phase of the cannabis place, and CBD-A turns into CBD through decarboxylation (the method through smoking, vaping, or baking). This means that you cannot get CBG-A and CBD-A through cannabis consumption that gets you high. Instead, you will have to get an extract from a hemp plant.
Dr. Knox also claims that you can eat or juice raw cannabis leaves or flowers, brew marijuana tea, take CBGA and/or CBDA tincture, capsules, suppositories, and vape-dried flowers at no higher than 230*F in order to get these cannabinoids.
The research team incubated the COVID-19 virus with cannabis compounds, and they found that cells that had been treated with CBD-A and CBG-A now lacked SARS-COV-2 RNA. They performed this same procedure on live alpha and beta COVID variants and found that the compounds had the same effects.
Dr Know explains that this is big news. ‘I hope it launches an ongoing investigation into the utility of whole plant preparations in good care and health care.’
Another study, done in March 2021, found that cannabidiol (CBD) also had the potential to prevent and inhibit SARS-COV-2 infection. This recent study by Oregon State University confirmed this.
Additionally, CBD was also found to help with lung inflammation while cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties. Both of these have been associated with symptoms of COVID-19. We will keep an eye out for more details on this study but we can all agree that this is great news and a great step in the right direction!
While it’s too early to determine whether or not cannabis helps with Covid infections, things are looking up! We’re looking forward to more research on this. Keep checking our blog to find out more.