Does Cannabis Use Actually Thwart Coronavirus Infection?

High Times

A new study this week has potheads gloating, late night talk show hosts snickering and a pandemic-scarred public contemplating a scenario straight out of a stoner comedy: Could cannabis actually stave off Covid? The truth is, annoyingly, less straightforward than that.  The study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, found that “cannabis compounds prevented the virus that causes Covid-19 from penetrating healthy human cells.” According to the authors of the study, “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,” while “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.” A report by Bloomberg helped distill all that for the laymen.  “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, researchers from Oregon State University said. In the study, they bound to spike proteins found on the virus and blocked a step the pathogen uses to infect people,” Bloomberg explained. “The researchers 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.” “These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center said in a statement, as quoted by Bloomberg. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.” There are a few details to keep in mind. The Oregon State University in vitro study hasn’t gone as…

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