Why People Are Incorrectly Believing That Smoking Weed Can Prevent Covid-19

Don’t believe everything you read, right? Especially when what you read isn’t really what it means!

Recently, a study was published in the Journal of Natural Products concluding there are certain compounds found in hemp plants (acids that become active cannabinoids only after heat is applied) that “prevented entry” of the Covid-19 virus into cells.

What does this mean? It means that the right amount of the right kind of cannabis-derived preparations could help prevent the spread of Covid-19. But what that does NOT mean? It does NOT mean that smoking weed can prevent you from getting the virus. Sure, if you read that fast, you might get a false impression, but let us make this clear: This study is NOT saying that. However, that’s how a lot of people have interpreted it.

Some people are so excited about the potential of smoking marijuana and preventing or curing Covid-19 that they couldn’t help but sing it to the world. Just take a look at some of these tweets below (and try not to giggle).

While weed is definitely not going to prevent you from contracting Covid-19, experts aren’t even convinced that these compounds will do anything to help with that either.

“What happens in a test tube does not always translate into what happens in animals or humans,” said Dr. Patricia Frye, a physician and cannabis expert who practices integrative medicine and teaches at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. “As it stands, we do not know if cannabidiolic acid or cannabigerolic acid will prevent infection.”

“And given that there are now treatments for Covid infections in at-risk patients (monoclonal antibodies, anti-virals), I would not recommend using cannabis in lieu of available treatments if a person is at high risk of poor outcome,” she added.

Others agreed, including Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School who regularly writes about cannabis. “We have no reason to think that smoking weed protects you,” he said. “Smoking anything isn’t a good idea during a pandemic that affects the lungs; better to vape ground flower or use a tincture.”

“These compounds would need to be tested in animals, then in humans, and actually demonstrated to be effective against Covid. This is a long way off, assuming they work, which is by no means guaranteed,” he continued. “I don’t think many molecules at that level actually pan out into functional medicines.”

Sorry to burst your bubble! The best way to stay protected is to get vaccinated, wear a mask and socially distance yourself from others.

What are you doing to best protect yourself from Covid-19?