According to scientists, a new peer-reviewed study shows that Acids extracted from cannabis plants blocked COVID-19 infection in human cells in lab tests.
A new study at the Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University has found that cannabis compounds can prevent the coronavirus from entering human cells, giving hope for an effective treatment. The researchers also propose using these anti-viral properties in cannabis plants to fight off infection and prevent further spread.
The study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, used a mass spectrometry-based screening technique to find that cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) bind to the same drug target as COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapies, highlighting a new avenue to prevent and treat the virus potentially. CBGA and CBDA are cell entry inhibitors. They “could be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and also to shorten infections by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells. They bind to the spike proteins, so those proteins can’t bind to the ACE2 enzyme, which is abundant on the outer membrane of endothelial cells in the lungs and other organs.” said the study’s lead author, Richard B. van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute.
For further clarification, the hemp plant produces CBDA and CBGA as precursors to CBD and CBG, which are familiar to many consumers. However, they are different from the acids and are not contained in hemp products. In addition, CBDA, found in raw cannabis flowers, breaks down into CBD naturally over time or when heated. It’s been found helpful in battling seizures, nausea, inflammation, and the spread of cancer cells. In 2020 an article in PubMed called CBDA “a still overlooked bioactive compound” that’s been largely ignored for years due to greater interest in studying CBD.
With that said, the health officials’ main concern is ensuring that vaccines and treatments are effective against new variants of the virus. However, the study found that the cannabis compounds were equally effective against the alpha variant B.1.1.7 and the beta variant B.1.351, suggesting that hemp extracts could protect against emerging variants.
Although very promising more research is needed; however, the study does provide some scientific evidence to support the claims.