Cannabis protects against Covid, study claims — Action News Now

The next breakthrough in stopping Covid-19 may come not from Big Pharma but from humble potted plants. Researchers in Oregon have found that two compounds found in devil’s lettuce can stop the virus from spreading.

Rather than trying to gain immunity through smoking, a team of scientists at the University of Oregon isolated two compounds from marijuana — cannabidiolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) — and found that they are linked to the coronavirus. The virus’s spike protein binds and in turn prevents it from binding to the outer membrane of human cells.

The latter binding process is often how the virus enters the human lungs and other organs.

These two compounds are precursors to CBG and CBD, which are widely legal and available to consumers. CBG and CBD hemp oils and extracts are commonly used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, epilepsy and various other conditions.

CBGA and CBDA “Not a controlled substance like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, has a good safety profile in humans,” said Richard van Breemen, a researcher at the Oregon Center for Global Cannabis Innovation. Van Breemen added that these compounds “It can be taken orally,” and “Potential to prevent and treat infections” by the coronavirus.

Van Bremen and his team post Their study was published Tuesday in the Journal of Natural Products. However, they still have a long way to go before doctors start prescribing cannabis oil in large numbers. While the study found CBGA and CBDA to be effective against both Alpha and Beta variants of the coronavirus, it was performed on human cells in the lab, not on actual human test subjects.

Still, the scientist believes these cannabis compounds will eventually be used in vaccine manufacturing “A more challenging environment” for Covid-19. One of the main criticisms of the current batch of vaccines is that they use the virus’ original spike protein as an antigen, meaning that when variants with new spike protein mutations emerge, they are more likely to evade the protection offered by the vaccine.

“These variants are known for evading antibodies against early lineages [Covid-19], which is clearly concerning given that current vaccination strategies rely on early lineage spike proteins as antigens,” Van Bremen said. “Our data show that CBDA and CBGA are effective for the two variants we studied, and we hope this trend will extend to other existing and future variants.”