13 Jan. 2022 17:36
Cannabis has been used in medicine for a long time. US scientists have now found out that the plant can also make a contribution to the fight against the coronavirus. Their ingredients can serve as protection against COVID-19.
The next possible breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19 will not come from Big Pharma, but from the hemp plant. Oregon State University (OSU) researchers found that two compounds of cannabis can stop viruses from spreading in the human body.
The scientists extracted two compounds from the hemp plant – cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) – and concluded that the spike protein they affected is the same target molecule used in COVID-19 vaccines.
The two compounds are precursors to CBG and CBD that are largely legal and available to consumers. CBG and CBD cannabis oils and extracts are commonly used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, epilepsy, and a variety of other diseases. Oregon State University’s author Richard van Breemen stressed that CBGA and CBDA are “not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.” The researcher added that these compounds can be taken orally and have the potential to both prevent and treat infection from the coronavirus.
The research results were published in the medical journal Journal of Nature Products. However, scientists have a long way to go before doctors will prescribe hemp oil. The study found that CBGA and CBDA are effective against both the alpha and beta variants of the coronavirus. However, these were carried out on human cells in a laboratory and not on real human test subjects.
The scientists believe that in the future, these hemp compounds can be used along with vaccines to create a “much more difficult environment” for COVID-19. One of the main criticisms of the current vaccines is that they use the virus’s original spike protein as an antigen, which means that variants with new spike protein mutations are more likely to evade the vaccine’s protection, said van Breemen. In contrast, the researcher pointed out that CBDA and CBGA were effective against the two examined variants of SARS-CoV-2. The scientists hope that this trend will spread to other existing and future variants.
More on the subject – German pharmaceutical company Stada enters the cannabis market