Fighting COVID with cannabis, new study shows positive results


For all the pot smokers and consumers, there is yet another reason to substantiate their use of the plant and say “Dude, this is nature man”.

New research has found out that cannabis compounds prevent the virus that causes Covid-19 from penetrating healthy human cells.

New research from Oregon State University has suggested that two compounds found in cannabis can provide protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Though these two compounds have medicinal properties, smoking of cannabis or weed will not prevent one from contracting COVID-19.

The researchers from the Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy, and Linus Pauling Institute conducted this study, which has been published in the Journal of Natural Products.

However, the study also clearly states that despite the misconceptions, smoking weed can in no way protect you from COVID-19 infections.

The researchers said that the two compounds commonly found in hemp — called cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA — were identified during a chemical screening effort as having potential to combat coronavirus. In the study, they bound to spike proteins found on the virus and blocked a step the pathogen uses to infect people.

Richard van Breemen, alongside other scientists at Oregon Health and Science University, mentioned in the study that they found a pair of cannabinoid acids binds to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which can essentially block a critical step in the biological process COVID-19 uses to infect people.

Breemen, while talking to The Chronicle Online, said, “These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts. They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”

“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” said Breemen. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” he said in a statement.

They tested the compounds’ effect against alpha and beta variants of the virus in a laboratory. The study didn’t involve giving the supplements to people or comparing infection rates in those who use the compounds to those who don’t.

Hemp is a source of fiber, food and animal feed, and extracts are commonly added to cosmetics, body lotions, dietary supplements and food.

The third wave is expected to reach its peak in several countries such as the US and Britain over the coming weeks, while the number of Omicron cases has significantly increased in India as well, leading to a massive surge in daily COVID-19 cases.