Fact or Fiction: Can CBD protect you from COVID?

Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 7:40 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - It’s been more than a year since vaccines were made available to those in the U.S. to help fight the Coronavirus. But could there now be a more natural solution?

A new study released shows that cannabis could possibly keep you from getting COVID.

Research out of Oregon State University shows hemp compounds can prevent coronavirus from entering human cells. That study was released one month ago. According to the researchers, the study found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people.

Matt Skinner with the Charleston Hemp Collective says as soon as the study came out they started working to create that formulation which they’re calling their “Wellness Warrior” which is a combination of certain cannabinoids.

“They come together and bind and the proteins that come together from SARS-CoV-2 – which is COVID-19 – it bounces off in retrospect so it doesn’t enter your blood cells,” Skinner said. “And they’re saying it can prevent COVID possibly. Now, this is the study.”

So we wanted to investigate the legitimacy behind the study and the medical science itself. According to Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian with Roper St. Francis, the study is misleading.

“What’s important for people to remember is it’s very different when you do a study in a laboratory with some cells under a microscope,” Dr. Ellis-Yearian explained. “That’s very different from showing that to something is going to work in a human body in a real-world situation.”

Dr. Ellis-Yarian said this study has gotten a lot of attention because some people are misinterpreting the study as meaning that smoking or vaping pot is going to protect them from COVID. She says that’s just not the case, at least right now.

“This was an interesting study,” Dr. Ellis-Yarian said. “What happened in that lab does not translate to protecting people in real life. That’s where clinical trials come in. So it’s interesting, but it’s not much more than that right now. What we need is to see if they will actually do some clinical trials on this. And that means testing it in humans the way we did our vaccines to see if it would actually protect people. That hasn’t been done yet. So you can’t say that this is going to reliably protect people as of right now.”

Dr. Ellis Yarian says it’s exciting to see people trying to develop other things that will help fight COVID but there isn’t a better option than getting vaccinated right now.

“If you’re looking to the CBD study as a possible substitute for a vaccine, that is not the way to go, please don’t do that,” Dr. Ellis-Yarian adds. “There is no substitute for a vaccine at this point. That is the best tool you have to protect yourself and your family from COVID.”

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