Cannabis could offer protection against Covid-19

Gestures barriers, vaccines, confinements … The Covid-19 seems to be right about everything while the epidemic is on the rise again since the emergence of the Omicron variant. A new scientific discovery could come and change the situation. Two compounds found in hemp – cannabigerolic acid, known as CBG-A, and cannabidiolic acid, known as CBD-A – are believed to be able to prevent Covid-19 from entering cells. healthy, according to a study by researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) and Oregon Health and Science University. Better still, these non-psychoactive acids would also be effective on the Alpha and Beta variants.

The study, published Monday January 10 in The Journal of Natural Products, looked at several plant extracts. Red clover, wild yam, hops and liquorice were closely scrutinized in order to observe their potential affinity with the peak protein of Covid-19. The latter is a microscopic structure protruding from the body of the virus, containing chemical receptors that have evolved to bind to the outer parts of human cells. If another chemical binds to these receptors, it can block them and thus render them ineffective.

The results of the study allowed scientists to identify that hemp was the plant that worked best at blocking receptors for the SARS-Cov-2 spike protein. More particularly, it is the cannabigerolic acids and the cannabidiolic acids which play the role of a barrier best.

Abundant and safe compounds for humans

Both CBG-A and CBD-A are naturally present and abundant in hemp and hemp extracts, reports lead author of the study, Richard van Breemen of OSU’s Global Hemp Innovation Center. “These are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and they have a good safety profile in humans.”, he adds. However, these compounds will not be able to be consumed via the traditional methods of taking cannabis. These two acids will have to be harvested separately in order to make a specific drug.

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It is during the growth of the cannabis plant that CBG-A takes shape, while CBD-A is often converted to CBD, the key ingredient in recreational and medicinal cannabis. “These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans”, explains Richard van Breemen. These two acids have been very effective against the Alpha and Beta variants of the coronavirus; scientists believe they might work against Omicron and future mutations as well.

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