EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—Could marijuana help treat COVID-19? That’s exactly what a professor at Michigan State University is researching.
“It really is the only kind of plant that I’m aware of that makes these molecules,” said Norbert Kaminski, Ph.D. Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology at MSU.
Kaminski says there are certain compounds from the marijuana plant that can help battle COVID-19. His goal is to help people get rid of breathing problems that are associated with the virus.
Kaminski is currently undergoing a research study in collaboration with a pharmaceutical company called, “GB Sciences.”
Researchers are working together to take certain compounds called cannabinoids that stem from the marijuana plant to combat cytokine storm. The condition causes the immune system to release inflammatory factors that can result in lung damage and ultimately end in pulmonary problems which causes people to experience difficulty breathing.
“GB Sciences is wanting to explore whether the compounds we have been working with might also be useful for decrease in the inflammatory responses to COVID-19,” Kaminski said.
The researchers behind this study are taking cannabinoids to create mixture in labs and test them on human white blood cells in a lab that forces an inflammatory response.
“By adding these various mixtures, and different combinations, we’re able to assess whether those compounds are affective,” Kaminski said.
Kaminski told 6 News although he is hopeful about this study, they are still in the trial and error stage.
The ultimate goal is to create an over-the-counter drug to help combat breathing problems that are caused by COVID-19.
“Even though we might not be able to have something in the next six months or a year,” Kaminski said, “I think therapeutics will be able to extend or decrease inflammation.”
Kaminski says an important factor to note is, the compounds from marijuana will not make a person feel high.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services told 6 News they can’t comment on this research and continue to urge everyone ages five and up get vaccinated against COVID-19.