Can weed cure Covid? Cannabis compound stops coronavirus in test tube

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jan 26, 2022, 07:26 PM(IST)

Several recent laboratory studies of cannabidiol, or CBD, have shown promising results. Photograph:( Others )

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"We don't know yet if CBD can prevent COVID, but we think our results provide a strong case for conducting a clinical trial. That's really our mantra: We want a clinical trial," Rosner told Live Science

Researchers have revealed that cannabidiol (CBD), which is an active ingredient found in cannabis might help block infection with the virus that causes coronavirus (COVID-19). 

It has been established after the laboratory studies that CBD has shown promising results, however, further investigation is needed to produce a concrete result as the possible effect still needs to be tested on humans.

It should be noted that many potential COVID-19 treatments that showed promise in test tubes have not worked or benefitted researchers during Covid studies/trials. 

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However, Marsha Rosner of the University of Chicago, who led a team that found CBD might help curb Covid infection in laboratory experiments, says findings will make a "strong case" for trials. 

She said as quoted by Reuters: "Our findings do not say this will work in patients. Our findings make a strong case for a clinical trial." 

Since it has not been tested on humans, the finding should not be treated as any sort of recommendation to buy and consume CBD oils or smoke marijuana to prevent coronavirus infection.

Using small doses of highly purified CBD that approximate what patients receive in an oral drug already approved for severe epilepsy, Rosner and colleagues found that CBD did not keep the coronavirus from infecting cells in test tubes.

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As per a report in Science Advances, the researcher found that CBD acted soon after the virus entered the cells. It further blocked it from making copies of itself in part via effects on the inflammatory protein interferon. They found similar effects in infected mice. 

"We don't know yet if CBD can prevent COVID, but we think our results provide a strong case for conducting a clinical trial. That's really our mantra: We want a clinical trial," Rosner told Live Science.

Covid cases have increased exponentially in the recent days, especially after the emergence of 'variant of concern' Omicron, which was detected in November last year. 

"Our results suggest that CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD can block SARS-CoV-2 infection at early and even later stages of infection. The mechanism appears to be mediated in part by activation of the IRE1α RNase and interferon pathways," part of the study read. 

"In addition to these cell-based findings, pre-clinical studies show that CBD treatment reduced viral titers in the lungs and nasal turbinates of SARS-CoV-2-infected mice. Finally, analysis of a national sample of patients with active records of 100 mg/ml CBD consumption at the time of COVID testing revealed an association with substantially fewer SARS-CoV-2 positive test results," it added. 

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