Ashley’s Cannabis Column
On January 10th, 2022, a scientific study was released from the Journal of Natural Products reporting that hemp compounds can help prevent COVID-19 from entering human cells. As the study gained traction through the internet, the information seemed to get skewed. Can cannabis really help prevent against COVID?
“Importantly, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid were equally effective against the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant…and the beta variant,” states the study, which was authored by researchers at Oregon State University as well as the Oregon Health and Science University.
Ultimately, their research concluded that, when the raw forms of cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are introduced to COVID-19 cells, the cannabinoids repress the reproduction and spread of the virus. This test was performed in vitro, meaning that it was done outside of a living organism in a stable testing environment.
There have been over 80 cannabinoids that have been found in the cannabis sativa plant. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most commonly found, which is the chemical that gets you high. The raw form of CBD is CBDA, and the raw form of CBG is CBGA, they are both forms of cannabigerolic acid. These are also common cannabinoids that can be derived from federally legal hemp plants.
CBD is used for many medicinal purposes, including calming seizures, anxiety, anti-inflammatory issues, and many more. It can be found in several forms ranging from its own type of flower (cannabis) to edibles and oils. Additionally, CBD is frequently found in 1:1 ratios with THC, which creates a different euphoric effect rather than just taking THC because the two chemicals bounce off each other, getting a perfectly balanced high. However, CBG is more targeted for therapeutic effects without the high from the THC. It is commonly used in edibles that are meant to help people fall asleep.
So, in review, no— smoking some weed or eating some CBD gummies will not automatically protect you from getting COVID. What this study found out was that the raw cannabinoids can help keep covid out of human cells, but this was only tested outside the human body. The study still has a long way to go to understand how these chemicals react with each other. However, learning about the other cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant is a great way to understand more about what benefits one’s own mind and body. — Ashley Meza