Cannabis has helped countless people pass the pandemic while keeping their sanity in check. Users consumed both medical and recreational cannabis to relax, leading to record-breaking cannabis sales in 2020.
Even though a lot of people were consuming cannabis throughout the pandemic, there was increasing concern among users about its potential role in contracting or repelling the COVID-19 virus. It is also why people tried not to administer cannabis through inhaling to avoid any smoke going into the lungs.
Fortunately, modern research has found something entirely different from the people’s preconception since the coronavirus breakout – cannabis might prevent people from contracting COVID-19! In this blog, we will shed light upon a recent research study that highlights how cannabis may inhibit COVID-19 contraction.
The study “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants” was recently published in the Journal of Natural Products. It was conducted under the guidance of Richard van Breemen to find out if consuming cannabis could inhibit the effects of the vaccine, and how exactly do cannabis compounds react with the constituents of the vaccine.
Richard is a researcher working with the Global Hemp Innovation Center in Oregon State. Several scientists from the Oregon Health & Science University also collaborated in the study.
As a result, it was found that multiple cannabinoids and acids from the plant, like Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), bind themselves to the spike protein – SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus behind the novel coronavirus. Both of the abovementioned acids and many more are present in the hemp plant from which CBD is derived. Constituents of the hemp plant are normally non-psychoactive.
When these acids bind themselves to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, they inhibit the virus’s ability to bind to the receptors in the body, thereby taking away its ability to cause any infection. Some experts and researchers are even hopeful that such hemp-produced acids could enable users to treat the COVID-19 infection. However, more research into this is required to reach a viable conclusion.
The good news is that cannabis acids like CBGA and CBDA are also effective against the newer coronavirus variants. This finding highlights the potential of cannabis against multiple COVID-19 variants spread across the globe.
Users Are Still Hesitant
Not many users are aware of the progress being made in the US cannabis industry. As of now, users and advocates are hesitant to consume cannabis, especially around the dates for vaccination and booster shots.
It is a common misconception that smoke from cannabis may affect the lungs negatively, increasing the probability of contracting COVID-19. It is also why a lot of users are switching to non-smoking ways of administering cannabis like edibles, tinctures, sublinguals, and more.
The Hopeful Future
It is safe to state that research is a breakthrough in highlighting cannabis’s true potential. Experts believe that further research may back the findings made in Van Breemen’s work, potentially skyrocketing cannabis sales across the US and around the globe.
Furthermore, advocates of cannabis are also hopeful that if cannabis is proven to inhibit the COVID-19 viruses, it may lead to the removal of the federal bans on medical strains and products at the very least. It could be an excellent leap for this sector and a beginning of an even more prolific era for the users and advocates.
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