New Scientific Findings Suggest Cannabis Can Help with COVID-19
Does cannabis use make you immune to covid?
Of course not, silly. Look at that frosty nug specimen up above, he's maskin' up, and so should you.
But there is new scientific research that suggests cannabis can help your body defend itself from Coronavirus.
In the article “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants” from Richard B van Breeman et al, the authors produced experiments in a lab showing that certain cannabinoids can potentially inhibit the COVID-19 virus (and its myriad variants), which helps to both prevent and shorten the course of infection.
Want to read the article yourself?
You can access the article in its entirety here.
If you have access to scientific journals through your school (or another organization), then you can access the article for free. Otherwise, you have to pay $40 to access it.
The abstract of the article is reprinted here:
As a complement to vaccines, small-molecule therapeutic agents are needed to treat or prevent infections by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants, which cause COVID-19. Affinity selection−mass spectrometry was used for the discovery of botanical ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Cannabinoid acids from hemp (Cannabis sativa) were found to be allosteric as well as orthosteric ligands with micromolar affinity for the spike protein. In follow-up virus neutralization assays, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid prevented infection of human epithelial cells by a pseudovirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and prevented entry of live SARS-CoV-2 into cells. Importantly, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid were equally effective against the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant B.1.1.7 and the beta variant B.1.351. Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.
What it says
Breeman and his colleagues give credence to what many people in the cannabis community already believe: that “[n]atural products are the most successful source of drugs and drug leads in the history of pharmacology” (Page B).
One of the oldest (and best) natural medicines is cannabis, which has been used medicinally for over 3,000 years.
The article explains how cannabinoids can potentially help inhibit viral infections—and shorten the length of infections—by using a spike feature to mimic the binding process of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). These findings are dependent on reaching certain concentrations reached safely in a lab, and they do not relate to the consumption of any specific cannabis-related product.
The authors are optimistic about the future because of their findings, claiming that their “data show minimal impact of the variant lineages on the effectiveness of CBDA and CBGA, a trend that will hopefully extend to other existing and future variants” (Page F). This means that the inhibiting powers of these cannabinoids work against multiple variants of COVID-19, and seem to show promise of being able to protect against new variants that may arise.
Cannabis isn’t a cure-all by any means, but the article does suggest that cannabinoids can help inhibit COVID-19, which could help reduce the seemingly ubiquitous effects of the pandemic. The authors say that “with widespread use of cannabinoids, resistant variants could still arise, but the combination of vaccination and CBDA/CBGA treatment should create a more challenging environment with which SARS-CoV-2 must contend, reducing the likelihood of escape.” (Page F).
So what do these results really mean?
We can all agree it would be extremely kick-ass to wield cannabis as a weapon in our fight against COVID-19. However, we must remember the results from the article are purely scientific and do not relate much to you or me, at least not yet.
This (unfortunately) means that packing your bong with some CBG flower, hitting your Delta-8 vape cartridge, or using CBD cream is not scientifically proven to guard your body from invading like COVID-19 viruses like it’s Bloons Tower Defense.
Still, we'll mark this down as a huge victory for cannabis research and medicinally motivated stoners alike.