COVID-19 can be blocked by cannabis compounds, study says

Compounds found in hemp can prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells, according to a new study published in the Journal of Natural Products.

Researchers from Oregon State University found that a few cannabinoid acids bind to the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This blocks the spike protein from binding with angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptors. The spike protein attaches to the ACE 2 receptors that lie in the lining of the lungs and other organs, which is how the virus infects humans, health experts told Fox News.

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“This means that inhibitors of cell entry, such as the acids of hemp, can be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and also to shorten infections by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells,” said Richard Van Breemen, a researcher at Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon State University release.

In this Tuesday, July 2, 2019 photo, Darren Johnson, a hemp processor, is holding raw hemp that will be used to make CBD oil at his processing facility, Wasatch Extraction, in Salt Lake City.  Johnson is one of 81 applicants vying for a license to grow medical marijuana in Utah.

In this Tuesday, July 2, 2019 photo, Darren Johnson, a hemp processor, is holding raw hemp that will be used to make CBD oil at his processing facility, Wasatch Extraction, in Salt Lake City. Johnson is one of 81 applicants vying for a license to grow medical marijuana in Utah.
(AP Photo / Morgan Smith)

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The two products in hemp called cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, CBDA, had the highest affinity for the spike protein and were confirmed to block infection by the virus, Van Breemen said in the OSU release.

Hemp is known as Cannabis sativa and multiple hemp extracts and compounds are added to body lotions, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and food, according to the release. Hemp also serves as a source of food, fiber and animal feed, the researchers found in the report.

The researchers explained in the news report of the study that these cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and various hemp extracts. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans,” Van Breemen said in the OSU release.

“They have the potential to prevent and treat infection by SARS-CoV-2. CBDA and CBGA are produced by the hemp plant as precursors to CBD and CBG, which are known to many consumers. However, they are different from the acids and are not contained in hemp products. ” That’s what Van Breemen said in the message.

Jim Castetter, Chief Sales Officer of Empire Standard, a plant for processing and distributing hemp extract, weighed hemp flowers on a scale on April 13, 2021 in Binghamton, New York.

Jim Castetter, Chief Sales Officer of Empire Standard, a plant for processing and distributing hemp extract, weighed hemp flowers on a scale on April 13, 2021 in Binghamton, New York.
(Photo: ANGELA WEISS / AFP via Getty Images)

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The Oregon researcher said the hemp compounds were equally effective against the alpha and beta variants. Van Breemen said that resistant variants could still arise amid widespread use of cannabinoids, but that the combination of vaccination and CBDA / CBGA treatment should create a much more challenging environment for SARS-CoV-2.

“Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated as in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent and treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers stated in the published study. .

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