Skip to main content

Does Weed Stop COVID? Researchers Study Impact Of Cannabis Compounds On Virus' Ability To Infect Cells

Certain compounds seem to be better at preventing COVID infection in a lab study, but a lot more research is needed, especially on humans.

This one has been making the rounds and it needs a little context. A study published in the Journal of Nature Products by six researchers from Oregon Health & Science University and one from Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center looked at the impact of cannabis compounds and COVID’s ability to infect cells.

The study, which you can read here, was done on healthy human cells in a lab. They found that cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, bound to spike proteins from COVID-19 and blocked a step the virus uses to infect people. They also found that non-psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA-A) was effective, but with a very important caveat. As the paper notes, “because THCA-A is a controlled substance, insufficient quantities were available for determination of binding affinity or antiviral activity.” Other THC compounds were studied and either weren’t as effective or there wasn’t enough data to make conclusions, as the above note would indicate.

“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” said Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center in a statement via Bloomberg. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.”

Recommended Articles

The study did not involve giving people the compounds and studying that against infection rates of those who were not given the compounds.

The study looked at the alpha variant B.1.1.7 and the beta variant B.1.351. Delta and Omicron are the dominant variants now, so it would be worth applying this knowledge to those variants.

This doesn’t seem like a magic bullet for COVID just yet. It will require much more study and since the US government is run by a bunch of reefer madness dinosaurs and cops, that will be hard to do for the foreseeable future. Do remember that COVID can attack the lungs and smoking anything hot isn’t superb for your lungs, so maybe that fat blunt won't save you COVID, for now.

Related Content