Cannabis & Covid

21.02.2022 by Matthias

Cannabis vs. Covid - Does hemp really protect against the Corona virus?

There are coincidences in life that are as entertaining as they are cynical. Just an hour after the author of this text had been commissioned to write a fine text on the subject of "Cannabis against Covid" with careful research, in came the wife of the house. Her rapid test is positive - so the Corona virus has made it into the writing room after two years.

Imagine the following, rather bizarre situation: While your partner remains positive even after the third rapid test and retreats to the bedroom with fairly rapid, fairly severe symptoms, you yourself remain seated. In front of a test that is negative even after the third time. For the time being, because at the same time as you are triumphant, you know very well that the chance of you getting out of this number without infection tends towards zero. So it is only a matter of hours, perhaps days, until your own viral load becomes so high that a test fails. Besides keeping your distance, wearing a mask and sleeping on the couch, there's only one thing left worth trying. Cann*abis vs. covid in a self-experiment, recorded in a diary.

A subjective study with one subject, 5 grams of weed and a vial of cannabidiol CBD oil.

Day 0 - Facts about cannabis vs. covid

In order for the self-study to get a sufficient foundation, basic information is needed first. The factual situation of freely available information on the net is as follows: In a study, researchers at Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University found that two acids from the hemp plant can prevent Sars-CoV-2 from docking and invading human epithelial cells. The study has only been conducted with the alpha and beta variants of the Corona virus - however, the researchers suspect that the cannabinoids are also effective against other variants, and thus against the current Omicron variant. The Day Zero was rounded out in the evening with a joint, about 0.3 grams in content, and 6 drops of CBD oil. The good night quick test clearly says negative.

Day 1 - How does cannabis now work against Covid19?

The wife's severe headache improves, but weakness with fever sets in. Let's remain cautiously optimistic that the triple vaccination will keep the Corona virus at bay. Even neither symptoms nor a second dash on the test. First 3 drops of CBD oil in the morning, applied orally. Mood for a joint would be there, but work comes first - so on into the research work. What is the state of knowledge on the mode of action of cann*abis against covid19? In order for the corona virus to enter human host cells, it attaches to the human enzyme ACE2, a component of the cell membrane, with so-called spike proteins. Two components of the hemp plant, namely cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), prevent this docking process. These two acids have the property of binding to the spike proteins of the corona virus. Docking is thus much less successful, and the virus is correspondingly less able to replicate. CBGA and CBDA are abundant in hemp and hemp extracts, are not psychoactive and have a good safety profile in terms of action in the human organism. Ends the first day in quarantine with a pretty good joint, Netflix and a continued negative test.

Day 2 - Does it work? Or does it not work?

Own quick test in the morning negative, still no symptoms. Wife still sick in bed. Started day with three drops of CBD oil. What influence does cann*abis actually have on Covid19 disease symptoms? At Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, the "Interdisciplinary Network Cannabis Research" is developed and maintained. In the context of an exploratory study, the detailed results of which can be read here, the following interesting results came to light:

  • Irritable cough decreased
  • Fever was lowered
  • Diarrhea was mitigated
  • Headaches and aches in the limbs were relieved or stopped altogether
  • Only 0.8% of participants were able to report no positive effects at all

Even though the study was an anonymous online survey, the trend is impressive.

Day 3 - Subjectively, cannabis works quite well against Covid19.

Negative self-test again. Woman with only very mild symptoms resembling a cold. Own symptoms: none. 3 drops of CBD oil and, because nothing else is pending, a small joint in addition. Slowly the conviction rises that cannabis is perhaps no miracle weapon, but nevertheless a rather effective remedy from nature against Corona.

In the US study, the researchers used highly purified CBD in the tests. The researchers explicitly point out that the observed effects have not been verifiably tested with THC or other congeneric cannabinoids. Nevertheless, in the study's conclusion, the researchers emphasize that "CBD is a potential preventive agent for early-stage Sars-CoV-2 infection." High purity is not the way to go into the evening, but with 3 drops of CBD oil and three joints, the day can still be ended in a relaxed manner.

Day 4 - Hands up, weekend.

Own rapid test negative. Wife back on her feet - and also with a negative test result. The virus seems to have given up. To celebrate the day, consumed remaining cannabis. Still in quarantine, of course. Nevertheless, the self-experiment is ended at this point.

A look at the Internet shows: While in Switzerland the topic of cannabis is dealt with in the usual progressive manner, in Germany there is a complete lack of statements by politicians on the topic of cannabis and Covid19. Although the traffic light coalition has propagated a release of cannabis in the context of the election, currently "the fight against the pandemic" has priority. Well, one could support the findings of the study(s) in a field trial with volunteers (there are certainly more than enough of them in Germany) - but simple, pragmatic solutions have never been the country's strength. With a few drops of CBD oil and the rest of the weed, the end of the pandemic is ushered in at home.

Conclusion

Whether cannabis helps against covid, prevents the virus from multiplying or psychological effects were the protection against infection, of course, can not be answered unequivocally after this completely subjective self-experiment. However, it is striking that person A was sick in bed with Covid19 without any contact with cannabis products, while person B was completely spared from the virus without any protective measures, but with consumption. The vaccination could not have been the reason, both protagonists of this little self-experiment were vaccinated and boosted. In the US study, highly purified CBD was used to produce meaningful test results. Of course, the self-experiment can't compete here, because the CBD oil used was of high quality, but of course far from "highly pure". Not to mention the weed used, this can be described with a lot of good will as "quite normal, German street quality". But what if the virus doesn't care about the purity at all and even CBD oil from the trade already blocks the spike proteins so reliably that the Corona virus simply has no chance to dock to the cells anymore? As a conclusion from the self-experiment, we can definitely take away that cannabis works against covid. And if only for the good feeling of having at least done something against the multiplication of viruses in one's own body.