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Cannabis found to prevent COVID in lab research

"Legalising weed to prevent COVID is the storyline I am hoping for in 2022"

  • Aneesa Ahmed
  • 13 January 2022
Cannabis found to prevent COVID in lab research

According to new lab research, compounds in cannabis can prevent the COVID-19 virus from infecting healthy human cells.

The Journal of Natural Products issued a report titled "Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and Emerging Variants" on January 10, 2022.

Read this next: MPs believe cannabis will be legal in the UK within the next decade

Researchers showed that two cannabinoid acids present in hemp genotypes of cannabis – cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (GBDA) – can connect to the virus's spike protein, that infect cells with COVID-19.

When attached to the spike protein, these chemicals have the ability to block the virus from entering cells and causing infection, opening up new paths for disease prevention and treatment.

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In a lab setting, the researchers assessed the chemicals' effectiveness against alpha and beta viral strains.

The study didn't include giving patients the supplements or comparing infection rates between those who used them and those who didn't.

The findings suggests that cannabis might be utilized in the creation of future medications to prevent or cure COVID-19, though further research is needed.

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Richard van Breeman, who led the study said to Dayton 247: “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans".

In reaction to the news, one individual on Twitter said, “Anecdotal evidence on my part says this is accurate. I had a hunch this whole time. I’ve been exposed so many times, and continue to be exposed daily if not weekly. Haven’t succumbed yet!"

People online were quick to react to the news and began sharing memes.

Read this next: A bill just passed to legalise recreational cannabis in Mexico

Someone else tweeted "legalising weed to prevent COVID is the storyline I am hoping for in 2022".

Others, on the other hand, expressed reservations about the study's reporting. "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," said Jon-Patrick Allem, Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California.

In an interview with VICE, the scientists who conducted the study have said that while smoking weed won't necessarily stop infection, their research opens up new possibilities for cannabis properties to be used in medicine.

"We know that CBD, CBG and THC are not active against the virus. So, we would recommend in favor of an oral administration of these compounds instead of smoking them, inhaling them from vaping.

"We certainly expect [smoking cannabis] would have a reduced effect. I haven't done the experiments to see how rapidly this conversion takes place and what the temperature limits are. But we do know that the cannabidiolic acid is unstable in heat".

Read this next: New report claims medical cannabis industry can make £1.2billion for the UK

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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