Can Cannabis Compounds Prevent Covid Infection

Cannabis For Covid

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There has been plenty of buzz concerning new research on cannabis and COVID, the wonderful keynote of the title featuring cannabis stops COVID. More particularly, the study, listed in the Journal of Natural Products, discovered that two popular cannabis compounds have to potential to stop the virus SARS-CoV-2 from gaining access into the human cells conducted in lab research. This is what you should know concerning the study, comprising the discovery of the researchers, important limitations, and its scope for future learning.

Who Performed The Research?

The research was done by a crew of researchers belonging to the Institute of Linus Pauling at the State University of Oregon, and the immunology and molecular microbiology department a the University of Oregon Science and Health. The main researcher was Richard Breemen, whose lab examines the discovery, medicinal uses, development, and natural products safety (such as antioxidants for the prevention of cancer).

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The Findings Of The Study

cannabis protects people from COVID-19
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The researchers in the lab of Van Breemen were examining different plants – like hemp, licorice, and red clover – in quest of natural compounds to prevent the novel coronavirus from accessing cells, explained van Breemen.

While examining hemp, which includes an extensive range of botanical substances, the researchers initially screened for molecules capable of attaching onto spike protein, the portion in the virus aiding in piercing and infecting human cells (and is among the primary targets of the COVID-19 vaccines).

For achieving this, a shred of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 was incubated in a combination of hemp excerpts and it was noted which compounds in the hemp excerpt gripped upon spike protein. It was discovered that three separate acids possessed a powerful affinity for attaching to spike protein: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A), cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). The remaining cannabinoids displayed just weak or nil binding ability.

  • The following stage of the research was examining whether the acids that exhibited a capacity to attach to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 could restrict the ability of the virus to pierce the human cell surface – and consequently, subdue the virus.
  • Researchers went ahead with 2 of the 3 potential compounds, CBG-A and CBD-A (precursor of the popular compound CBD). They couldn’t obtain sufficient of the last compound, THC-A, for use in the experiment, as this acid is a precursor of the psychoactive substance THC, a regulated substance.
  • After a few predictive computer representations of chemical interactions between these compounds and the spike protein, the researchers incubated the live SARS-CoV-2 virus (along with a pseudovirus showing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein) with every compound plus a control compound.
  • Then, they uncovered human epithelial cells – the surface tissue that encloses all inner and outer surfaces of the human body – to this virus-cannabinoid mixture. Following 24 hours, researchers searched for viral RNA – proof of the virus entering the human cells – and discovered none. These results suggest that CBGA and CBDA are both able to stop cell entry by SARS-CoV-2, the propounders write.

The study mentioned that CBGA and CBDA are helpful against different Covid variants. Nevertheless, they haven’t been examined against the Omicron and Delta variants of the coronavirus. However, Peter Grinspoon, a medical cannabis consultant, cautioned that these compounds would need to be examined in animals, followed by humans, to determine their efficacy against COVID.

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Final Thoughts

It’s worth noting that just as it cannot be ascertained by this study that cannabis protects people from COVID-19, the medicinal value of cannabis can’t also be denied. Medical marijuana is a broad area of research and scientists are presently examining different cannabis compounds for their role in treating or preventing an extensive range of medical issues. COVID-19 prevention can become another burgeoning field of research, though enough is not known yet.

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