New studies suggest that cannabis can protect us from COVID-19. Will this change how we treat the virus, well let’s see.
The study, spearheaded by researchers from the University of Chicago, found that cannabidiol blocks the coronavirus from infecting cells in our body. Specifically, CBD possesses a metabolite called 7-OH-CBD that stops COVID-19 from replicating. This means that even if you already contracted the virus, the metabolite would still act on it.
Additionally, there are some extra details that we should also look at. First, the researchers conducted the study within a lab setting, and none of the tests was performed on actual people. Instead, the group of scientists took some human lung cells and infected them with COVID-19. They also tested CBD on mice and found some good results. So, we close approximations of what CBD could do for humans but not the actual thing.
Next, the researchers stress that only CBD – particularly CBD prepared in a certain way – provides protection against COVID. THC does not provide the same effect, nor does low-grade CBD. So, you can’t really block the coronavirus from smoking a joint or eating some edibles. It might make you feel better, but it won’t cure you of your COVID.
Will We Get New Cannabis-Based Treatment?
So, this brings us to the question we all want to be answered – will we get cannabis-based treatments for COVID? By the looks of it, possibly – but we shouldn’t place too much faith in this possibility. Before we come to a more conclusive answer, we need to see how clinical trials proceed. Some medical centers in Israel have already started these trials, but we don’t have the final results yet. A Brazilian study also found CBD ineffective; but again, it’s too early to really tell.
Moreover, we also need to consider the complexity of the coronavirus. Throughout the pandemic, the virus has evolved and adapted. Omicron bypasses vaccines way more effectively than previous variants, and we’re still unsure about the future of the pandemic. So, I think the best way to approach this new discovery is with cautious optimism. It’d be great if cannabis sped up the end of the pandemic, but we have to wait and see.