Last week, a study published in the Journal of Nature Products found that some of the compounds in cannabis may prevent the entry of the coronavirus into healthy human cells.
According to the study, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) — compounds found in hemp — can prevent the virus from entering cells that typically line internal organs and skin.
Acids could bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and block a critical step in the pathogen process used to infect the cell.
The study was conducted at Oregon State University and led by Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center scientist, Richard van Breemen, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute.
Green advocates have long touted the positive effects of cannabis— but do the results of this new study mean that smoking the herb can stop you from catching Covid-19?
The short answer is no.
Smoking or adding heat to cannabis or cannabis products would likely destroy the vital compounds.
“The active compounds we’ve discovered in hemp are cannabidiolic acid, CBD-A, CBG-A, and THC-A. ‘A’ stands for an acid group, a carboxylic acid — this group can be removed upon treatment,” Breeman told Vice.
“So if these hemp products containing these compounds are smoked or vaped, the heat exposure could cause the chemical decomposition or conversion of CBD-A to CBD, CBG-A to CBG, and THC-A to THC. So, 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,” he added.
However, researchers conducting a study at Michigan State University (MSU) are using cannabinoids to create a mixture in labs and test them on human white blood cells. Speaking to WLNS, they share that their ultimate goal is to create an over-the-counter drug to help combat breathing problems that are caused by COVID-19.