Can Cannabis Combat Against COVID-19?

One of the many non-psychoactive compounds present in live cannabis may assist in sabotaging the spike proteins found on coronavirus itself.

You may have a friend who swears by the healing powers of cannabis, even when it comes to Covid-19. Could they have been right all along? Well, the truth is, it remains to be seen. As far as we know right now, cannabis looks promising as a preventative for Covid, but there is nothing to suggest it could be a cure. Furthermore, there is only one key study causing the global hype, so read on to find out exactly what’s going on.

A recent scientific paper https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987002/

Which has now gone viral, has identified cannabis compounds to potentially prevent infection in the virus responsible for Covid-19. The study was conducted by scientists at Oregan Health and Science University, in partnership with scientists at Oregon State University. Although more conservative members of society might laugh off the findings, this comes as no surprise to stoner circles around the world. 

It has long been rumoured that weed can prevent not only Covid-19, but cancer and other serious diseases as well. However, evidence is still in its emerging stages – and to suggest that marijuana holds the key to life pre-2020 is somewhat jumping the gun. Similarly, evidence is only just coming to light in terms of the anti-cancer properties of selected cannabinoids. That being said, the viral study (which has been published in the Journal of Natural Products) pinpointed two cannabis compounds that may block certain mechanisms behind infection. 

Essentially, the results of the study found that these cannabinoids might seriously slow the virus’s capacity to infect human cells. The two promising compounds include:

  • Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)
  • Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)

CBGA only exists while cannabis is growing, because it forms for only a small window of time. Similarly CBDA is a precursor to CBD (which is non-psychoactive cannabis compound that has taken the world by storm). Like CBD, both CBGA and CBDA are non-intoxicating and extracted primarily from the hemp plant. The two cannabinoids were found to work well against alpha and beta Covid variants, offering hope that they may also combat delta and omicron.

However, due to the fact that the compounds are only present in live cannabis, techniques would need to be developed with which to harvest them.

While the study is highly encouraging, even it’s authors don’t claim that weed can 100 percent prevent Covid. As a result, it is unfortunately recommended to remain cautious and to only share joints with a lover, or people with whom you come into close contact regularly. Dr Mikael Sodergren, head of London’s Imperial College medicinal cannabis research team stated that findings still need to be confirmed.

This would involve further testing in both animal models and humans in the form of strictly monitored clinical trials. It is not yet established as to whether the two cannabis compounds can inhibit Covid, let alone cure it. According to Sodergren, the study offers “no evidence to support the smoking or ingestion of cannabis products to do the same.” That being said, the doctor suggested that the findings warrant further investigation.

For this reason, it should be stressed that cannabis is not a magic bullet, and you are not invincible – no matter how often you smoke weed! If anything, smoking is known to damage the lungs (which Covid attacks) so it might be worth your while investing in a less harmful alternative like a vaporizer. Better still, switch to the oral consumption of oils to maximise the health impact of cannabis.  

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