Study: Two cannabis-derived compounds successfully blocked cellular entry of COVID infection

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A brand new laboratory investigation into the impact of cannabis compounds on coronavirus patients has delivered astonishing results. 

Published in the Journal of Nature products, the study showed that cannabis compounds (A.K.A. ‘cannabinoids’) are capable of obstructing the COVID-causing virus from invading healthy human cells.

Specifically, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) two compounds that are frequently found in hemp grasped the attention of Oregon State University researchers. 

Hemp is an abundant source of food, fiber and fuel. It is also used to develop topical skincare products, cosmetics and dietary supplements. It constitutes a $4.13 billion market in the U.S. alone.

Cannabis for COVID: Coronavirus-fighting cannabis compounds cling to spike proteins

Since 2020, COVID-19 has caused economic disruption on a mass scale, not to mention 5.5 million worldwide fatalities and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations. As a global health crisis that demands rapid recovery options, discoveries such as this one from OSU are welcome.

Scientists around the world have been hard at work producing vaccines designed to counteract antibodies against the contagious virus’ spike proteins. Found outside of a coronavirus, these proteins act as a portal for SARS-CoV-2 to proliferate inside human cells. 

Based on the outcome of the OSU study into cannabis for COVID-19, CBGA and CBDA can effectively intercept a technique that the virus pathogen relies on to infect people. Both alpha and beta variants of coronavirus were tested inside a controlled laboratory setting.

“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” said a researcher with OSU’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, Richard van Breemen. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.”

It should be noted that the cannabinoid-consuming study subjects did not receive any kind of supplement, nor did they have their infection rates analyzed in comparison with non-consumers.

Cannabis for COVID: Cannabinoids have a plethora of uses in the medical field 

Cannabinoids work much like endocannabinoids in terms of cell regulation. Endocannabinoids are chemicals that are produced naturally by the human body to regulate various essential processes, such as appetite, movement, memory and pain. 

Limited research suggests that some cannabinoids possess anxiolytic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, meaning that these plant-derived compounds may prove useful for preserving cognitive function, as well as easing anxiety, pain, inflammation. 

Besides CBDA and CBGA, in excess of 100 other cannabinoids have been identified by scientists so far, with THC and CBD being the most abundant and well-known.