Every month our resident CBD and cannabis expert Ruby Deevoy answers your questions in her agony aunt column Ask Ruby. If you have a burning question about CBD or cannabis get in touch: email@example.com
I’ve seen loads of news headlines about cannabis being used to treat Covid. Does this mean smoking weed will stop me catching Covid-19?!
Although it’s easy to think that’s the case from many of the headlines you’re referring to, no: smoking weed isn’t going to prevent the spread or lessen the severity of Covid-19.
While the study mentioned (and, in fact, a number of other studies that have not made a media splash…yet) does indeed show that certain cannabinoid acids might have the potential to be developed into a useful medicine to use against Covid-19, there are a number of things to take into account.
- Cannabinoids and cannabinoid acids are not the same thing. Cannabinoid acids (like CBD-A and CBG-A, explored in the now-famous paper published in the Journal of Natural Products) are molecules found in RAW cannabis material. Once heated, whether that’s through smoking, vaping or baking, these acids are no longer present – they are transformed into cannabinoids like CBD and THC. So, when you smoke weed, you’re actually not getting any of the molecules mentioned in the study.
- Although the study was performed on human cells, researchers have yet to test the findings in actual animals or humans. This is the next step, and a crucial one, which will determine whether or not the effects noted translate to real life application.
- We don’t yet know what levels of these cannabinoid acids will be required to develop an effective medicine, if that does turn out to be possible. If you take a look at other studies into cannabinoids and cannabinoid acids, you will notice that much of the time effects are dose dependant – ie. they won’t have the desired effect without hitting the right dosage.
The findings are still very exciting and do hold promise for the future of using cannabis compounds to potentially prevent and treat Covid. But, we’re a long way off from any certain answers and, even when we do figure out all the important details, smoking (or vaping or eating edibles) will not help you get these particular molecules into your system.
However, there are many known health benefits of CBD-A and CBG-A. For example, CBD-A has been demonstrated to hold a lot of potential as an anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, anti-convulsant, and anti-cancerogenic drug. So, adding these to your diet is likely to have a positive impact on your wellbeing, Covid-infected or not!
So, how can you access cannabinoid acids? In an ideal world, you’d add some raw cannabis leaves into delicious salads or smoothies! But given current cannabis regulations here in the UK that’s not possible for most people. But you can get a daily dose from certain CBD teas, as steeping the leaves in hot water doesn’t transform the acids into cannabinoids. I recommend Biobloom Organic Hemp Tea and Biopurus 4% full spectrum hemp tea. Enjoy!