Oregon State University researchers discovered that hemp chemicals help protect humans against coronavirus infections.
While the majority of COVID-related news is depressing, a new study published in the Journal of Natural Products offers a glimmer of hope: a substance identified in living cannabis plants may help protect human cells from coronavirus infections.
Researchers at Oregon State University discovered that two acids contained in hemp, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), were capable of preventing COVID infections by binding to the SARS-Cov-2 virus's spike protein.
"Any element of the infection and replication cycle is a potential target for antiviral intervention," says lead author Dr Richard van Breemen. "The attachment of the spike protein's receptor binding domain to the human cell surface receptor ACE2 is a vital stage in that cycle."
"This suggests that cell entry inhibitors, such as hemp acids, could be employed to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as to shorten infections by stopping virus particles from infecting human cells."
Unfortunately for stoners, these data do not imply that using marijuana prevents COVID. Instead, you'd have to take these hemp chemicals orally, most likely as a pill or liquid.
"These cannabinoid acids are plentiful in hemp and various hemp preparations," lead author Dr Richard van Breemen adds. "They are not regulated chemicals like THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana, and have a favorable human safety profile."
The study also suggests that these acids could be employed to attack COVID mutations. "Our findings suggest that hemp compounds are similarly effective against SARS–CoV–2 variations, including variant B.1.1.7, which was discovered in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, which was discovered in South Africa."
It's feasible that this discovery will aid in the fight against the Omicron variety as well. "Our statistics demonstrate that CBDA and CBGA are effective against the two variants we looked at, and we hope that trend will extend to other existing and future variants," adds Dr. van Breemen.