Potential Protective Properties Hemp and Cannabis Against COVID-19
Have you ever thought that cannabis plants, including hemp, could help protect you against the COVID-19 infection? If you haven’t, we will tell you more about it. Conversely, if you have speculated that this wonderful plant could help protect you against the killer virus, it is probably because cannabis has been used to effectively manage a multitude of health conditions. You are thinking that COVID-19 could be one of the health conditions that cannabis could help curb. While you may be speculating about this, you don’t know exactly how hemp or cannabis properties work in your body to protect you against infection from the COVID-19 virus. In this article, we will tell you about scientific findings regarding the potential protective properties of cannabis and hemp against COVID-19.
What Has Scientific Research Found?
As millions of people across the world receive vaccines to protect themselves against the remarkably destructive COVID-19 virus, researchers are also considering the possibility that cannabis ingredients could help protect against infection from the virus. One such ingredient that has been studied is CBD.
A recent study published in the Journal of Natural products has caused sensations among the science community after the research found that cannabis and CBD have some protective capacity against the COVID-19 infection. (1) Moreover, this research speculates that CBD may provide a way to treat the infection. Sounds good, right? If the results of this study are accurate, then they could have remarkable implications worldwide. Let’s dive into the specifics of this research and see why the results are promising.
To begin with, the researchers employed an affinity selection-mass spectrometer. This incredibly powerful microscope can recognize the correct shape of small molecules in addition to recognizing how the molecules bind to their targets in a human body. As such, an affinity selection-mass spectrometer can give highly accurate results. Using the microscope, the researchers established that the SARS-CoV2 virus has a spike protein shape. It uses this to bind to particular receptors in the human lungs.
The researcher also found that some compounds in cannabis and hemp, known as cannabinoid acids, have a similarity with the virus’ protein shape. These compounds bind to the proteins of the SARS-CoV2 virus. Consequently, they block the viruses from getting into the human cells, preventing a COVID-19 infection.
More importantly, the researchers established that the cannabinoid acids were effective against the beta and alpha variants of COVID-19.
Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been several other scientific investigations hypothesizing the potential protective properties of cannabinoids against the COVID-19 infection. For example, a study published in Future Science established that the chemical compounds in cannabis might help subdue the significant amount of inflammation related to COVID-19 infections. (2) As such, they make it easier for the body to recover from a COVID infection.
What Do These Study Findings Mean?
The findings from this research show that the cannabinoid acids could block the COVID-19 viruses from binding to the human cells. This is bigger than we can imagine. If the virus can’t bind to the human cell, it cannot cause infection in people. Additionally, this also means that cannabinoids, in hemp extract or isolated, could be the new COVID-infection treatment.
As it is, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant damage across the globe, and it is not apparent when this will end. It may be around for several years to come unless a more effective solution than what we currently have is established. As such, a promising solution such as the one advanced by these studies is a source of hope to the world community.
The pandemic has touched almost every aspect of our lives. Millions of people across the world have been infected, millions of others have lost their lives to the pandemic, and families have been adversely affected. Additionally, several jobs have been lost, as almost every industry has suffered the consequences of this pandemic. The health care industry has had to bear the greatest burden because of the large number of admissions. Healthcare facilities are stretched beyond their capacities. The financial implications cannot be overlooked.
With these studies on the possibility of cannabis and hemp derivatives protecting against the virus, there is new hope. The safety profile of cannabis and CBD is remarkably good, making them a good choice in the treatment of COVID-19. Taken in certain dosages, CBD is safe to be used by humans.
Unfortunately, the studies are not conclusive. We keep our fingers closed and hope that the best will come from these studies. We are waiting to see what sciences have in store for us.
What Does This Mean To Our Community?
Given the study findings, should we then start taking CBD or smoking cannabis to protect ourselves against CODIV-19 infection? Probably not. If you have been using CBD or cannabis, you can continue but cautiously to avoid side effects. However, if you never have, you may need to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. You should probably be taking these products for other benefits but not necessarily for COVID-19 protection. The studies are not yet conclusive.
While you may consider using CBD products for their potential protective abilities, you are not guaranteed the protection. As such, you must continue observing the established COVID-19 protection approaches. Go for that COVID-19 vaccine and boost, always wear a mask when in public places, and isolate if you have been exposed or you are feeling sick. Nonetheless, these studies spark meaningful interest in the possibility of cannabis and its products to offer protective benefits against COVID-19.
As COVID -19 keeps causing havoc, scientists are relentlessly making an effort to find a lasting solution to this. Meanwhile, cannabis is dramatically being promoted as a solution to several health problems. As such, one of the options that experts are considering is the possibility of chemical compounds found in cannabis to protect against that deadly virus.
- Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants | Journal of Natural Products (acs.org)
- Cannabis for COVID-19: can cannabinoids quell the cytokine storm? | Future Science OA (future-science.com)