That one friend’s claim that weed is healthy for everything under the sun may actually have something to do with a very important disease: COVID-19.

A new study has identified cannabis compounds as a therapeutic agent to prevent coronavirus infections by preventing the virus from entering human cells. According to the study’s authors, the widespread use of these compounds from the plant and vaccination regimens could help combat the spread of the virus and the disease it causes in infected individuals.

“With widespread use of cannabinoids, resistant variants could still arise, but the combination of vaccination and CBDA/CBGA treatment should create a more challenging environment with which SARS-CoV-2 must contend, reducing the likelihood of escape,” the study’s authors wrote.

Screenshot 2022-02-01 at 13.28.54

As detailed in a new study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Natural Products by researchers from Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Sciences University, scientists are looking at a biological compound that can bind to the mutant protein of the SARS-COV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Using a technique called selective affinity mass spectrometry on cannabis, the researchers honed three compounds: cannabigerolic acid, or CBG-A; tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THC-A; and cannabidiolic acid, or CBD-A. Sadly, because THC-A is a controlled substance, they weren’t able to fully evaluate its effects and had to focus on others.

So what does that mean? Most of us are familiar with THC, which gets you stoned, and CBD, which doesn’t,  but you can get it in a can of soft drink and have your share of health benefits. What you may not know is that those splendors come from precursors, which are acids. CBG-A is only found in the growing, life stage of the cannabis plant and is converted into everything else we love about it. CBD-A turns into CBD through a process of ‘decarboxylation’, which can be the application of heat through smoking, vaping or baking.

That means you can’t really get CBG-A and CBD-A through whatever consumption gets you high. Instead, you have to extract it from a hemp plant that probably wouldn’t be able to make it into your bong or spliff in the first place.

The team incubated the live virus with cannabis compounds as well as a control and, after 24 hours, injected them into human epithelial cells; they found that cells treated with CBD-A and CBG-A lacked the SARS-COV-2 RNA. They performed the same procedure on live alpha and beta variants, first discovered in the UK and South Africa, and found that the compounds had the same effect in both cases. They express optimism that these compounds may also be effective against other variants.


AP20232026415659

“Our data show minimal impact of the variant lineages on the effectiveness of CBDA and CBGA, a trend that will hopefully extends to other existing and future variants,” the author writes.

Their findings indicate that cannabis compounds are ‘virus neutralising’, capable of blocking the entry of the coronavirus at high concentrations that the researchers note are “high but might be clinically achievable.” They recommend taking the compounds by mouth — meaning the appropriate use of cannabis to prevent COVID-19 can be in pill or liquid form.

“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” said Richard Van Breemen, first author on the study and Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University in a press release.

While we don’t want to be over-excited, we think it’s clear what the Biden administration should do next: legalize the pot so this study can look at all avenues including THC-A. , filling America’s bread tray with cannabis plants and sending people of America all the potion extract they needed to finally end this.

This article first appeared in Vice.