Researchers at Oregon State University found that two cannabis compounds, CBGA and CBDA, could prevent coronavirus from infecting human kidney cells in a laboratory.

The compounds did so by binding “to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people,” according to a Jan. 10 university news release about the research. The work has attracted loads of attention and says that alongside vaccines, “small-molecule therapeutic agents are needed to treat or prevent infections” by coronavirus.

“The first thing to note before everyone goes out tries to prevent COVID-19 infection via pot smoking is that these are in vitro experiment,” Dr. Michael Beazely, an associate professor at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, told McClatchy News. This means human kidney cells were tested, not humans themselves.

The research provides “some hints at therapeutic potential,” Beazely said, but it doesn’t “provide any evidence for clinically-relevant (i.e. human disease) effects. They serve well as the basis for future studies including more in vitro work, preclinical animal work, and human studies.”

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