Marijuana And COVID Prevention: What Studies Say
The idea that marijuana might prevent the spread of COVID has been around for a while, and it can be traced back to one study. That study was small, with just nine participants, and it’s mainly been debunked by the medical community. So is there even a little bit of truth behind this claim? How much more do we know about marijuana’s possible role in preventing COVID transmission?
Marijuana And COVID Let’s take a closer look.
In 2007, researchers at Harvard University found that T.H.C., the main active chemical in marijuana, could block COX-2 from being turned into a more potent form. The results were promising, but it was a limited study, and the researchers weren’t able to get their hands on the extended-release version of T.H.C. that is most commonly used in clinical trials.
The researchers behind the new study hope to fill in the gaps left by that previous research.
According to the researchers, funded by the National Institutes of Health, cannabis prevented transmission of the virus in a mouse model.
From here, the N.I.H. translated its findings into a recommendation to human patients that they treat FIV with cannabis. The Food and Drug Administration never approved that recommendation, and any further research hasn’t supported it.
COVID-1 (canine orthoreovirus infection)
In 1974 researchers in Israel took a look at breast cancer cells in a lab and found that small doses of T.H.C. stopped them from becoming malignant.
In 1997, another team in California found that T.H.C. slowed the growth of breast cancer cells in a lab.
In 2006, clinical trials were started in the U.K., looking at the anti-cancer effects of cannabis on humans.
But Actual Evidence Of COVID Interaction With Marijuana?
In 1986, researchers observed that the prevalence of CTV was lower in Jamaican Rastafarians — who frequently smoked marijuana — than in a control population.
“Almost all the individuals who use cannabis never develop the disease,” Dr. Donald P. Tashkin, a leading researcher on the respiratory effects of marijuana, stated.
As early as 1992, researchers from the National Institutes of Health showed that mice exposed to T.H.C. (the primary active ingredient in marijuana) were resistant to cancer but that the one-off dose of T.H.C. was enough to prevent the spread. The same researchers then showed that T.H.C. also worked in rats, although they didn’t test other cancers.
After that, there was a lull in research.
What Is COVID?
Contagious ovine vestibular syndrome, or COVID, is a disease that affects sheep. It’s caused by an infection that travels from one sheep to another through biting flies. Animals with the infection may have unsteady walking or lack coordination, making them difficult for farmers to move.
Congenital virilizing internal genital defects are rare but devastating congenital disabilities that affect the reproductive organs of infants and small children. COVID conditions include both vaginal agenesis and penile agenesis, and they often have a wide range of other severe defects. These conditions are caused by specific genetic abnormalities that run in families.
C.O.P.D., or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term that covers several lung disorders, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 14.7 million Americans suffered from C.O.P.D. in 2014. Smoking is the leading cause of C.O.P.D., but researchers believe that other factors may be involved in its symptoms, including exposure to other toxic fumes.
The Science Behind The Claim
The claim that marijuana might prevent C.O.V.I.D. Transmission first took hold in the United States in a study published in 2000. In that study, researchers at Columbia University tested a variety of common chemicals that marijuana users might inhale and found that one of them, an element called cannabidiol (CBD), seemed to affect C.O.V.I.D. Transmission.
That study, however, used animal models, and the results have been inconsistent in subsequent lab tests.
The new study, which had been in the works for more than a decade, is the first to test the idea in human cells. The researchers used donated tissue samples from a hospital lab testing men for infertility. (The samples were not used in the men’s infertility work.)
The finding was especially noteworthy because CBD is one of the two most common chemical compounds in marijuana, but it doesn’t get people high. Researchers have since published a handful of other studies that suggest smoking marijuana might reduce the transmission of C.O.V.I.D… Still, there has been little additional research and much debate about the findings.
Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of COVID-19 and the Emerging Variants LEARN MORE
Other studies have confirmed that CBD has antiviral properties, and researchers at the University of South Carolina have shown that CBD can prevent the virus from replicating.
In the new study, researchers at the University of Florida took a closer look at CBD’s effects on C.O.V.I.D. Transmission. They placed mice in cages with SIV, a close relative of H.I.V.
In the study, mice were given a drug that would usually trigger their immune system to attack their healthy tissue. Then researchers injected some of the mice with C.O.V.I.D. and some with CBD. The ones that received CBD, in addition to the drugs that would typically trigger an immune attack, did not seem to contract the virus.
However, by the time the study was published, it had already become clear that other labs could not replicate its findings. Since then, the no different lab has identified a role for CBD in controlling C.O.V.I.D. Transmission.
However, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute reported that T.H.C. might be a C.O.V.I.D. Inhibitor.
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