We’ll admit it, we were very excited when we read the news about the recently published study on cannabis and COVID-19. After all, what better news is there than finding out our favourite plant can combat the disease that’s been plaguing the world for the last two years? Especially, as the Omicron variant sweeps through nations, sending hundreds of thousands to hospitals once again. However, as supporters of cannabis education and information, we must take a moment to examine the data and not be led astray by media hype. Join us as we take a look at the real findings of the study and explore the importance of cannabis in the realm of COVID-19.
What did the study really find?
One important factor that many have left out about the study published by the Journal of Natural Products is that it examines cannabinoids found in hemp. The cannabis plant has two main varieties, marijuana and hemp, of which the latter is largely legal in many countries around the world. Furthermore, the study asserts that cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid are equally effective against the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human cells. Of course, the study examined the alpha variant of the B.1.1.7 variant of the virus, which is another important caveat, as we know that this virus is skilled at mutation. Last but not least, in the abstract, the scientists hint that these cannabinoids offer a “potential” treatment against COVID-19, which in scientific terms has and will always mean: more research is necessary.
Cannabis and COVID-19
In Canada, where cannabis obtained an essential status in 2020, the findings of this study were particularly well-received. Most likely, government officials who voted in favour of the essential status of the plant are patting themselves on the back as we speak. While cannabinoids like CBD offer a range of health benefits, we mustn’t begin to see cannabis as a cure-all for COVID-19 or side-stepping professional medical help because of it. Unfortunately, we know all-too-well what the promise of medicines’ effects on COVID can bring. At the end of the day, while cannabis can potentially prevent this viral infection, it is best to take precautions using the currently recommended methods: social distancing, wearing masks, and most importantly getting vaccinated.
Why understanding the research matters
As our buds over at Leafly assert, taking into account the test subjects is pertinent. If you know anything about medical testing or scientific studies, at preliminary stages they are often conducted in vivo (on humans or animals) or in vitro (outside of living organisms). The JNP study used the in vitro method, i.e, cells in a petri dish. While the results are certainly promising, it is not an exact representation of how cannabinoids would defend against the virus in humans. After all, factors like age and health status have already been shown to have a huge effect on humans dealing with the virus. In order to obtain scientific evidence that does not cast a shadow of a doubt, longer studies, more participants, as well as controls and variables need to be put into place.
Time to Enjoy
To all the cannabis consumers out there, we hope you won’t take this article the wrong way. We are thrilled that this study has cast a more positive light on cannabis and its helpful cannabinoids. Nonetheless, we support doing more research, giving more funding to these projects, and as always, pushing for the long-term support of our industry. Cannabis isn’t a flash in a pan or a joke on late-night TV, it’s a medicine, a lifestyle, and a way of life. For more cannabis education and information, check out the other articles on the Parkdale Brass blog. If you are looking for infographics and tips, head to our Instagram. Don’t forget to stop by the Parkdale Brass shop and check out our newly restock rugged, brass pipes.