Cannabinoids from the hemp plant block COVID-19 coronavirus from entering our cells. The report on the study “cannabinoids block cellular access of SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants” was published online Monday by the Journal of Natural Products.

Oregon State University - Researcher Richard van Breemen, of Oregon State's Global Hemp Innovation Center, has shown that certain cannabinoids in the hemp plant have the ability to prevent the coronavirus from entering human cells. It blocks access to our cells.

CBDa and CBGa block a critical step of the virus infecting humans 

Van Breemen and co-workers, including scientists from Oregon Health & Science University, found that cannabinoid acids CBDa and CBGa block a critical step of the virus infecting humans in the process by which SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binds. This means that they act as cell entry inhibitors and means that the acids from hemp can be used to prevent COVID-19 infection and also shorten the infection time by preventing the virus particles from binding to cells in the lungs and other organs. – Our study showed that these substances were equally effective against alpha and beta variants of SARS-CoV-2, van Breemen said.

A good safety profile in humans

The cannabinoids were studied using a unique chemical screening technique. It's about the cannabinoid acids; cannabigerolic acid CBGa and cannabidiolic acid CBDa. These acids are abundant in the hemp plant and in many hemp extracts. Unlike THC, the psychoactive ingredient, these substances have a good safety profile in humans, says Van Breemen.

These cannabinoids have the potential to prevent and treat infection by SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus). CBDa and CBGa can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans. CBDa and CBGa are the precursors of CBG and CBD that occur naturally in the hemp plant. These two substances are also found in Full spectrum (Whole plant) CBD oils and extracts.

CBDa and CBGa are effective

The main concern of the pandemic is the spread of the new corona variants. As the alpha and beta variants, they are among the most common and worrisome variants. Current vaccination strategies are dependent and based on the early COVID lineage protein as antigen. Our data shows that both CBDa and CBGa are effective against these first corona variants and we hope that this trend will extend to the other and future variants.

Resistant variants of the coronavirus may still emerge amid widespread cannabinoid use, but the combination of vaccination and CBDa/CBGa treatment should provide a much more challenging environment for COVID-19, van Breemen said.

Source: Oregon State University, Journal of Natural Products