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Can cannabis kill COVID-19? Memphis doctor weighs in

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:56 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2022 at 8:39 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - News of cannabis compounds preventing COVID-19 has been making the rounds on social media.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Stephen Threlkeld says the buzz all started with a study published by researchers from Oregon State University.

“They basically took two components or acids that are part of cannabis - lot of ingredients obviously in the plant - but two little acid components. They found that in a petri dish, when you pour that acid in there, that it could actually bind to the spiked protein of the coronavirus,” said Threlkeld.

Threlkeld said the research study could potentially prompt a clinical trial, but there are some drawbacks to the research done so far.

“It’s merely a study where they poured things into a petri dish to see what happened,” said Threlkeld. “We’ve seen this hydroxychloroquine, we’ve seen it with high concentrations of ivermectin, you can see the same thing with battery acid.”

None of which have proven to be clinically beneficial against COVID-19.

“There are a lot of hurdles that have to be crossed,” said Threlkeld. “As we’ve seen in other medicines like ivermectin, yeah, that can inhibit the virus in a petri dish but at many, many times the concentration that’s ever been approved for human use.”

Threlkeld said there is nothing right now to suggest that people who use cannabis recreationally or medicinally can prevent themselves from contracting COVID-19.

“You need to do those things that we know prevent exceptionally well and that is the vaccine,” he said.

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