The compounds found in cannabis prevented the new coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, from penetrating healthy human cells. The findings were published in Natural products magazine.
Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), two compounds commonly found in cannabis, have the potential to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. During a chemical examination, researchers at Oregon State University linked the spike proteins found to the virus and blocked a passage that the pathogen uses to infect people.
The research was conducted in a laboratory setting and did not include human testing. The compounds effectively fight the alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2 and the beta variant.
“Bioavailable orally and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said the authors of the study.
Cannabis, also known as hemp, is used in a variety of products ranging from food to fiber and fuel. Its versatility extends to healthcare.
It is currently being investigated as potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, loss of appetite, Crohn’s disease, cancer and many other diseases.
This is not the first research to link cannabinoids as a potential treatment for the new coronavirus.
Nadav Eyal, CEO of Eybna Technologies published research last year detailed the effectiveness of a cannabis terpene formulation, NT-VRL, in treating or preventing infection with the disease caused by COVID-19.
“We came up with a formulation that contains 30 different terpenes,” Eyal said. “NFT-VRL formulation blocked coronavirus penetration into cells.”
Terpenes are hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants such as cannabis. They are responsible for the unique smell and taste of each plant. Eyal’s research has also linked these compounds to therapeutic effects.
“We’ve been able to show that terpenes by themselves are not just smell and taste, they’re really effective and have their own medical value. So that was important for the conversation about how we can basically take the cannabis plant and turning it into real medicine, “Eyal said.
Eybna’s research is in the human testing phase. To learn more about this discovery, listen to Eyal’s interview in episode 71 of Cannabis Technology Talks or read their profile in the winter issue of Cannabis and technology today.