Hemp compounds were under the microscope at Oregon State University (OSU). Findings of a study led by Richard van Breemen, an Oregon State Global Hemp Innovation Center researcher, looked at how hemp compounds could prevent the Covid-19 virus from entering human cells.
Hemp is known as Cannabis sativa with multiple hemp extracts and compounds added to things like body lotions, dietary supplements, and even food. A pair of cannabinoid acids were found by scientists to bind to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that blocks a step in the process of infecting humans. The compounds, cannabigerol acid (CBGA) and cannabidiol acid (CBDA), and a spike protein are the same used in COVID-19 vaccines.
These hemp extracts are not controlled substances like THC. Research demonstrated their effectiveness against variants of SARS-CoV-2. Cell entry inhibitors, like acids from hemp, can potentially be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from infecting human cells by binding to the spike proteins so they can’t do further damage.
CBDA and CBGA are produced by the hemp plant and are more commonly known as precursors to CBD and CBG, familiar to consumers of those products. They are different from the acids and not in hemp products. Taken orally, they are looked at safe alternatives for human consumption. One of the primary concerns in the pandemic is the spread of variants that keep growing. The variants evade antibodies and keep changing or evolving. CBDA and CBGA are shown to be effective against the two variants most commonly found with COVID-19 and perhaps will help against future variants, as well.
The combination of vaccination and use of cannabinoids is hoped to form a treatment or protocol that makes it harder for SARS-CoV-2 to thrive and be transmitted. The study illuminated, yet again, the benefits of researching cannabinoids and hemp in the fight against human disease and transmission.
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