Can cannabis prevent COVID? Maybe — but not – by smoking it, experts say. What to know

Can cannabis prevent COVID?

Can cannabis prevent COVID?. A study that suggests components of cannabis can prevent coronavirus infections has sparked quite a buzz on social media.

And in case you’re wondering, smoking weed won’t protect against the virus, experts say.

Two cannabis sativa plant compounds – CBGA and CBDA – were found to prevent coronavirus and its “emerging variants” from infecting human kidney cells in a laboratory, peer-reviewed study by researchers at Oregon State University.

The compounds did so by binding “to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people,” according to a Jan. 10 university news release about the research.

The work has attracted loads of attention and says that alongside vaccines, “small-molecule therapeutic agents are needed to treat or prevent infections” by coronavirus.

“All this time we’ve been listening to the CDC, we should have been eating CBD,” joked comedian Jimmy Kimmel on TV Jan 12 about the study, mentioning another cannabis compound that’s sometimes legally sold in stores, the New York Times reported.

The more familiar psychoactive cannabis compound – THC – produces a sense of euphoria when smoked or ingested in edibles.

“The first thing to note before everyone goes out tries to prevent COVID-19 infection via pot smoking is that these are in vitro experiment,” Dr. Michael Beazely, an associate professor at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, told McClatchy News.

This means human kidney cells were tested, not humans themselves.

Additionally, “the study used hemp derived CBD and CBG A in quantities virtually impossible to obtain from smoking weed,” former cannabis lawyer Kirk Tousaw pointed out on Twitter Jan. 12.

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