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MARIJUANA compounds could help fight, prevent and treat Covid-19 when teamed with the vaccine, a study claims.
The two hemp compounds could be used as a “therapeutic agent”, to help block the virus’ pathway into our cells.
But, the scientists at Oregon State University and Oregon Health and Sciences University, pointed out smoking marijuana offers no protection against Covid-19.
Their findings showed that cannabigerolic acid (CGBA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) could be used to “prevent infection”, according to KTVZ.
The compounds were found to bind to the virus’ spike protein – the way Sars-Cov-2 enters human cells – and block infection.
Lead researcher Richard van Breemen said the compounds do not make up the active ingredient in cannabis, like THC, which causes the high.
He said: “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”
He added the substances are abundant in hemp but are different from those found in hemp products.
Scientists said the compounds were tested against both the Alpha and Beta Covid variants and were found to be “equally effective”.
The study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, warned that cannabis extract alone is not enough to prevent an unvaccinated person from contracting the virus.
The researchers suggested that the compounds would only work if they were combined with vaccine doses.
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Van Breemen added that smoking weed won’t do anything to ward off the illness.
“The benefit for preventing viral infection of cells must come from cannabinoid acids, which are heat sensitive and must not be smoked, or it would convert them to CBD and so forth,” he said.
“So that wouldn’t work for the antiviral effect.”
The study found that CGBA and CBDA were “virus-neutralizing” against high concentrations of Covid sampled.
It’s not known how effective the acids are against smaller concentrations of the virus.
Van Breemen warned that resistant variants could still emerge but added they hope combining CBDA and CBGA treatments with vaccines might make it more difficult for new strains to cause infections.
The White House is ramping up efforts to “surge” military medical personnel to help overwhelmed health facilities mitigate the effects of Omicron.
Hospitals across the country are struggling because of staff shortages as workers are forced to quarantine due to the virus.
OMICRON ‘WILL FIND EVERYBODY’
Janet Woodcock, of the Food and Drug Administration, warned lawmakers in Congress that Omicron will infect “most people”, the Associated Press reports.
She said: “I think it’s hard to process what’s actually happening right now, which is: Most people are going to get COVID, all right?
“What we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function — transportation, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens.”
And Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top health chief, warned that Omicron will “ultimately find just about everybody”, CNN reports.
The boffin told J. Stephen Morrison, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “Those who have been vaccinated and boosted would get exposed.
“Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exemptions do reasonable well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death.”
It was reported that more than 145,000 people were in hospitals with Covid across the country on Tuesday.
It’s a higher statistic than the previous peak of 142,246 reported last January, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
More than 754,000 daily Covid-19 cases have been reported on average over the past week, Johns Hopkins University data reveals.
Omicron accounts for 98.3 percent of new infections, according to estimates published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But, only 23 percent of Americans have received both vaccine doses and are boosted.
Vaccine effectiveness & Omicron
Expert studies have shown that the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 is reduced by 90 percent or more among people who are fully vaccinated.
While there are breakthrough cases of Covid among people who are vaccinated, they are rare.
In the event of a breakthrough case, victims are highly unlikely to be hospitalized with severe or deadly symptoms from the virus.
Health officials have advised that the Omicron variant is more infectious and could lead to further breakthrough cases.
Yet the spread can be offset by all vaccinated Americans receiving a booster shot.
Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.
With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Studies have also shown that side effects from the vaccine are extremely rare.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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