Cannabis and hemp have a complex matrix of compounds that have scientifically and anecdotally demonstrated a wealth of health and wellness benefits. Most recently, researchers at Oregon State University published a study indicating CBGA and CBDA are effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. Furthermore, the study recommends these compounds to be used in conjunction with an approved vaccine to prevent the disease.
While excitement around this study is certainly warranted, it is also important to emphasize the specific compounds highlighted by this work, and not just cannabis broadly. Specifically, it is critical to recognize the efficacy of two of cannabis’ acidic compounds (CBGA and CBDA) and the inefficacy of the decarboxylated compounds (CBG, CBD, or THC).
The plant naturally produces the acidic forms of compounds, such as THCA or CBDA. When heated above a certain temperature, like lighting a joint or vaporizing, these compounds go through decarboxylation and convert to THC or CBD.
The takeaway is that daily smoking of cannabis is not going to help with mitigating or preventing COVID-19 infection. However, finding products that have maintained the acidic forms (CBGA and CBDA) of these compounds are the most effective for this purpose. These are most likely to be capsules, edibles, and tinctures.