Sanho Tree discusses study regarding cannabis providing protection against COVID-19

01/18/22

Sanho Tree, a drug policy expert and fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, discussed the idea of marijuana helping prevent COVID-19 in a recent interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising.” 

“I think people ran ahead of themselves,” Tree said of the reaction to his tweet about the topic, which featured research regarding the idea that “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2.” 

Tree explained that certain cannabinoids that appear to be useful in preventing COVID-19 infections from penetrating cells are “destroyed when you introduce heat,” so smoking or vaping the compounds would not be effective.

“This is way too early to draw conclusions. This is a preliminary study. It has not been peer reviewed,” he said. “It’s suggestive though, and it shows that these things can be useful in a petri dish in terms of blocking … coronavirus, but we don’t know how that works in the human body.”

“If you wanted to experiment with this — and I’m not suggesting it would produce any kind of result in terms of COVID — but the form to try would be either smoothies or raw form, capsules, that sort of thing,” he said, again adding that anything touched by heat would not be effective.

Tree’s remarks come amid a surge in COVID-19 infections fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant. 

Data from Johns Hopkins University recently indicated that at least 20 percent of Americans have now been infected with COVID-19. That figure could be much higher, considering the possibility of asymptomatic cases. 

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