A new preliminary drug screening study, now viral, suggests that 2 chemicals identified in living cannabis plants could prevent the SARSCoV2 virus, which causes COVID19, from infecting healthy human cells & turning them into viral factories.
It certainly doesn’t mean that smoking marijuana will protect you from COVID19, or that reason why a person gets COVID while another has nothing to do with cannabis.
Indeed, smoking anything is not a wise decision during pandemic that affects the lungs the most & the compounds in question cannot be consumed while smoking anyway, which means they should be harvested. separately to manufacture a specific medicine or treatment.
Still, the results are intriguing to say the least.
2 Specific Compounds Found In Hemp Plants
The team of researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) & Oregon Health and Science University behind the study used a screening tool to find chemical compounds from natural products that could make drugs useful to prevent infection of COVID19 or help humans fight-off the virus
As a result, they discovered 2 compounds called cannabigerolic acid, known as CBG-A & cannabidiolic acid, known as CBD-A. Both had the right molecular makeup to suggest they could stop SARSCoV2 virus‘ spike protein from binding & infecting a cell, according to study published in the Journal of Natural Products.
The chemicals were then evaluated in human cells in a petri dish & both appeared to alter the ability of the coronavirus spike protein to bind to epithelial cells in cellular models of alpha & beta variations, while other variations have not been tested by researchers.
“Any part of the infection & replication cycle is a potential target for antiviral intervention and the connection of spike protein receptor binding domain to the human cell surface receptor ACE2 is a critical step in this cycle,” explained in press release by lead researcher Richard Van Breemen.
“This means that cell entry inhibitors, such as hemp acids, could be used to prevent SARSCoV2 infection & also to reduce infections by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells. They bind to spike proteins so that these proteins cannot bind to the ACE2 enzyme, which is abundant on the outer membrane of endothelial cells in lungs & other organs.
The research mirrors another 2020 study, in which scientists looked at more than 400 cannabis strains & identified particular strains that provided less fertile ground for the virus to take root.
However, keep in mind that this not a prooof that smoking marijuana or consuming hemp-derived products such as CBD gummies can protect you against infection of COVD19.
“CBDA & CBGA are produced by hemp plant as precursors to CBD & CBG, which are familiar to many consumers. However, they are different from acids and are not contained in hemp-products,” van Breemen said.
Although the compounds have not been tested against other mutations like Omicron, the researchers hope “the trend will spread to other existing & future variants,” according to van Breemen.
However, it’s important to note that what happens in a petri dish doesn’t always equate what happens in animal or human trials, so it’s best to remain skeptical until more research is under-taken.