Breaking News: Study finds Cannabinoids block Covid-19 from entering human cells!
In an absolutely remarkable study run out Oregon State University, researchers have found that cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) “bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people.” Yesterday, the researchers published their findings in a research paper, entitled “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants”
This New OSU research on hemp and COVID-19 was published on Tuesday in the Journal of Natural Products, just a few days after our previous blog post highlighting the increasing level of scientific research going into CBD and cannabinoids in general for a wide range of treatments and issues.
Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp innovation centre in the College of Pharmacy led the study. According to OSU:Hemp, known scientifically as cannabis sativa is a source of fibre, food and animal feed, and multiple hemp extracts and compounds are added to cosmetics, body lotions, dietary supplements and food, van Breemen said. (Of which at Associated CBD we sell a huge range of such products here.)
Van Breeman and collaborators, including scientists at Oregon Health & Science University found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the Sars - COv-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in ihe process the virus uses to infect people. The compounds found to cause this were specifically Cannabidiolic and Cannbigerolic acids and the spike protein is of course the same drug target used in the current Covid-19 vaccines. The disruption of this key virus process (drug target) is what is used to thwart infection and progression of disease.
"These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen said. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans. And our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.”
“Any part of the infection and replication cycle is a potential target for antiviral intervention, and the connection of the spike protein’s receptor binding domain to the human cell surface receptor ACE2 is a critical step in that cycle,” he said. “That means cell entry inhibitors, like the acids from hemp, could be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and also to shorten infections by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells. They bind to the spike proteins so those proteins can’t bind to the ACE2 enzyme, which is abundant on the outer membrane of endothelial cells in the lungs and other organs.”
Although further research is needed, van Breemen noted that study shows the cannabinoids could be developed into drugs to prevent or treat Covid-19.
“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” van Breemen noted. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2. CBDA and CBGA are produced by the hemp plant as precursors to CBD and CBG, which are familiar to many consumers. However, they are different from the acids and are not contained in hemp products.”
Van Breeman also noted that the research showed the cannabinoids were effective against new variants of the virus, which he said are “one of the primary concerns” in the pandemic for health officials and clinicians.
“These variants are well known for evading antibodies against early lineage SARS-CoV-2, which is obviously concerning given that current vaccination strategies rely on the early lineage spike protein as an antigen,” said van Breemen. “Our data show CBDA and CBGA are effective against the two variants we looked at, and we hope that trend will extend to other existing and future variants.”
The researcher added that “resistant variants could still arise amid widespread use of cannabinoids but that the combination of vaccination and CBDA/CBGA treatment should make for a much more challenging environment for SARS-CoV-2.”
Really promising news indeed - virus cured by nature? Associated CBD really hopes so!