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Weed can cure Covid? Cannabis compound kills Coronavirus in test tube

Researchers have revealed that the active ingredient in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), may help protect against infection by the virus that causes Coronavirus (COVID-19).  CBD has shown promising results in laboratory studies, but further investigations are necessary to produce a concrete result since the potential effect still needs to be tested on humans. It’s worth mentioning that many COVID-19 treatments that showed promise in test tubes have failed to work or benefited researchers during Covid studies.

Researchers from the University of Chicago found that CBD might reduce Covid infection in lab experiments, led by Marsha Rosner. 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 the finding has not been tested on humans, it shouldn’t be interpreted as a recommendation to consume CBD oils or smoke marijuana to prevent Coronavirus infection.

Using small amounts of highly purified CBD that are similar to the amount patients receive in an oral drug already approved for severe epilepsy, Rosner and colleagues found that CBD did not prevent cells in test tubes from being infected with coronaviruses. According to a report published in Science Advances, CBD began working shortly after the virus entered the cells. Furthermore, it prevented it from making copies of itself in part by interfering with the inflammatory protein interferon. They observed similar results 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 risen exponentially in recent days, especially since the emergence of ‘variant of concern’ Omicron, which was detected last November.  According to the study, CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection at early and even later stages. The mechanism appears to be partially mediated by activation of IRE1* RNase and interferon pathways.

‘In addition to these cell-based studies, pre-clinical studies showed 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 showed a significant association with fewer SARS-CoV-2 positive test results’, it said.


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