A new Oregon study is showing promising results amid the fight against COVID-19.
Oregon State University published its research on hemp and coronavirus Tuesday (January 11) in the Journal of Natural Products, according to KATU. Researchers found that two compounds in hemp (Cannabis sativa) may prevent the super-contagious virus from infecting people: cannabigerolic acid (CGBA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).
“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” a scientist with OSU's with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center. He also led the study.
"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 [Alpha], which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351 [Beta], first detected in South Africa," he continued.
CGBA and CBDA were able to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which blocks "a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people," according to the study. This is the same protein that's used in COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapy, they added.
Van Breeman and other researchers looked at other botanical extracts that could produce the same effect, including wild yams, hops, red clover, and three species of the licorice plant. Compared to these plants, the two hemp extracts "the highest affinities for the spike protein... and they were confirmed to block infection."
The research took place before the Omicron variant was detected.
"Resistant variants could still arise amid widespread use of cannabinoids," van Breeman says. "But that the combination of vaccination and CBDA/CBGA treatment should make for a much more challenging environment for SARS-CoV-2."
You can read more about the study here.