Researchers from Oregon State University found that the hemp compounds CBDA and CBGA prevent the COVID-19 coronavirus from entering human cells. In the study, they discovered that these cannabinoids bind to the spike proteins in the virus and block the entry of the virus into the cell. This discovery could have a positive impact on human health, as there are no known antiviral drugs that can protect against this disease.
The study was led by Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute. The results were published this week in the Journal of Natural Products.
Hemp, known scientifically as cannabis sativa, is a source of fiber, food, and animal feed. Multiple hemp extracts and compounds are added to cosmetics, body lotions, dietary supplements, and food, van Breemen said.
The research team tested the compounds against a variety of SARS-CoV-2 strains. The compounds tested were cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, cannabidiolic acid, CBDA, and Delta 9 -tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A, or THCA-A, and the spike protein is the same drug target used in COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapy. The results showed that the CBDA and CBGA compounds (cannabinoids) can inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in healthy human cells. The cannabinoids were able to bind to spike proteins in the virus and prevent it from entering the cell. This finding could help protect against SARS-CoV-2 and shorten infection. These strains include the beta and alpha variants. The study also found that these compounds were highly effective against the omicron and delta strains of the virus.
CBGA is the first cannabinoid. All other cannabinoids are converted from CBGA. When heat is added (known as decarboxylation) to CBGA, it may convert into CBDA, CBG, THCA, or other cannabinoids. This can occur by smoking the hemp plant, adding extreme heat in other ways, or letting the plant slowly degrade over time. The raw form or acidic form of cannabinoids have been shown to bind to receptors better than converted forms of the cannabinoids. The formation of CBGA occurs when two organic compounds in the plant; geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid combine. This is an essential building block in the formation of other cannabinoids like CBDA, THCA, CBCA, and CBG.
CBDA, the raw form of CBD, and other acidic forms of cannabinoids, can be found in raw products such as hemp flower or in full spectrum hemp products. The highest concentrations of these acids will be in the hemp flower, before heat is added. Instead of smoking the hemp flower, you could try grinding it up and putting it into a smoothie, making a cold pressed tea, or by simply eating it raw. Products we carry that are higher in CBDA are The Brothers Apothecary capsules, Charlotte’s Web capsules, oils, and gummies, CBDistillery oils, Huron Hemp flower, Tranquilty Tea, and Farmhouse Hemp candies.
“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.”
According to the PubMed abstract, “As a complement to vaccines, small-molecule therapeutic agents are needed to treat or prevent infections by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants, which cause COVID-19. Affinity selection-mass spectrometry was used for the discovery of botanical ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Cannabinoid acids from hemp (Cannabis sativa) were found to be allosteric as well as orthosteric ligands with micromolar affinity for the spike protein. In follow-up virus neutralization assays, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid prevented infection of human epithelial cells by a pseudovirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and prevented entry of live SARS-CoV-2 into cells. Importantly, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid were equally effective against the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant B.1.1.7 and the beta variant B.1.351. Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.”
Mother Earth Natural Health – The CBD Experts is a state licensed CBD retailer that specializes in the proper dosing of hemp-derived CBD products. Additionally, we carry plant-based vitamins, minerals, botanicals, essential oils, Himalayan salt lamps. Locations in Shelby Township, New Haven, Royal Oak, and Chesterfield, Michigan. Shipping is available to all 50 states. Call 866-244-4223 or chat with us today to learn more.
This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare professional to see if a natural remedy is a good option based on your specific medical history and conditions.