New Findings Suggest Cannabis Can Help Fight COVID-19

As COVID-19 tensions continue to rise, a sensational new study conducted by the University of Chicago suggests that if taken in the appropriate form and amount, marijuana may fight and even prevent the coronavirus.

Cannabis and Cannabinoids:

Originated in Central and South Asia, the cannabis plant is grown everywhere for its recreational, medicinal, and fiber benefits. Some religions even use these plants for spiritual purposes. When harvested and dried, common drugs, including marijuana, come from the petal-less flowers of cannabis plants.

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis plant. This study focused on two of the most important components: 

  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)
  •  Cannabidiol (CBD). 

THC is the main psychotic component of this plant. It is the lipid that gets people high. When smoked, tetrahydrocannabinol is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain, attaching to the naturally-occurring endocannabinoid receptors (a type of neurotransmitter).

CBD accounts for 40% of the plant’s extract and has antiviral inflammatory properties. CBD is not a psychotic component. In fact, according to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Furthermore, previous research said CBD could treat anxiety, pain, dystonia (a muscle disorder), Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and many others. However, doctors are skeptical of their uses and usually hinder prescribing CBD. 

Which Cannabinoid fights COVID-19? How?

Academicians at the University of Chicago revealed that CBD and one of its metabolites, 7-OH-CBD, inhibits SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, from replicating. This metabolite is the result of the breakdown of cannabinoids.

The process:

Primarily, the researchers tested the human lung cells by infusing doses of micromolar CBD for two hours. After two days, they discovered that CBD had potently inhibited replication of the virus. They conducted another trial on monkey kidney cells and left with the same findings. Additionally, they applied the same test to the original coronavirus strain and the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants, with the results still holding. Then, they moved to mice and concluded that the more CBD they consumed, the better their outcomes. They might prevent viruses in mice, including the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). During this process, they decided to test other cannabinoids. However, only the CBD fought the virus. The THC cannabinoid might impede CBD’s beneficial work. “CBD effectively reversed viral induction of cytokines that can lead to the deadly cytokine storm at later stages of infection,” the researchers write, therefore preventing the virus in its early stages.

The researchers backed up their research with an investigation that resulted in people already on preliminary CBD medication encountering a lower risk to COVID-19.

Should we consume CBD edibles?

Though the results look promising, researchers strongly advise the population to restrict their use of CBD. They highly recommend people not to buy CBD products solely based on these results. Moreover, they say that they are not very reliable as they can comprise other components of CBD that might not even help but can even lead to the emergence of new conflicts in the body as many of these components are unknown. These products might even contain THC, which is even more dangerous as it not only obstructs CBD but gives a psychotic sensation. Besides, the researchers remind us that this study is just preliminary, and more evidence needs to emerge to make any decisions on the consumption of CBD. The researchers firmly conclude, “We strongly caution against the temptation to take CBD is presently available formulations including edibles, inhalants or topicals as a preventative or treatment therapy at this time, especially without the knowledge of a rigorous randomized clinical trial with this natural product.”

To conclude:

This research suggests that CBD has the potential to fight breakthrough infections. However, that does not mean that we should all go out there and start smoking and consuming marijuana. Smoking marijuana will never cure COVID-19, as it only leads to other diseases. In our present, it is highly advisable not to consume CBD exclusively for COVID-19 prevention.

Works Cited

“What Is Cannabis? Facts About Its Components, Effects, And Hazards”. Healthline, 2022, Accessed 23 Jan 2022.

“Marijuana | History, Effects, THC, & Legality”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022, Accessed 23 Jan 2022.

Dr. Ananya Mandal, MD. “What Are Cannabinoids?”. News-Medical.Net, 2010, Accessed 23 Jan 2022.

“CANNABIDIOL (CBD): Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing And Reviews”. Webmd.Com, 2022,,in%20the%20U.S.%20for%20seizure.&text=But%20CBD%20is%20obtained%20from,contains%20small%20amounts%20of%20THC. Accessed 23 Jan 2022.

“Cannabidiol (CBD)-What We Know And What We Don’t – Harvard Health”. Harvard Health, 2018, Accessed 23 Jan 2022.

“Scientists Discover CBD — And Not THC — May Prevent Covid-19 Infection In Cells”. Inverse, 2022, Accessed 23 Jan 2022.

Roberts, Chris. “New Study: Cannabis Compound CBD May Potentially Prevent, Fight COVID-19 Infection”. Forbes, 2022, Accessed 23 Jan 2022.