CBDa and CBGa have the ability to prevent infection from the Covid-19
A team of researchers at Oregon State University has recently discovered that two cannabis compounds, CBDa and CBGa, have the ability to prevent and treat infection from the Covid-19 virus. “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants” was published earlier this week by the Journal of Natural Products.
The study led by Richard van Breeman shows that these two cannabinoid acids are able to bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. By binding to the spike protein, the cannabinoids can prevent the virus from attaching to human cells and causing infection. This discovery could be groundbreaking for new prevention and treatment methods for Covid-19.
What are Cannabinoids?
Everyone has heard of THC and CBD, but these are only two of the hundred-plus cannabinoids produced by the cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system found in the brain and body. The human endocannabinoid system maintains homeostasis, which affects our mood, health, and sleep patterns.
Cannabinoids are routinely used to treat anxiety, depression, nausea, insomnia, and many other ailments. But could it be that certain cannabinoids could treat more severe conditions like Covid-19? Research shows yes, and they could help prevent new variants that continue to emerge.
Cannabis Compounds: CBDa and CBGa
Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDa, is the precursor of CBD that can be derived from hemp, a type of cannabis cultivated for its low THC concentration. Though CBDa has not been researched as heavily as CBD, it has a long history of being safe for human consumption, according to van Breeman.
Cannabigerolic acid, or CBGa, is the raw form of CBG. Research shows that it holds antioxidative and anticancer properties.
CBDa and CBGa are non-psychoactive cannabinoids with therapeutic properties. These cannabinoids can be consumed by ingesting raw hemp flower through juicing, tinctures, or oils.
CBDA/CBGA and Covid-19
SARS-COV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, has what is called a spike protein. If you look at an image of the SARS-COV-2 virus, you will notice it has protrusions around its exterior, resembling a crown (corona = crown in Latin). This spike protein allows SARS-COV-2 to bind to human cells so well and could also be why the virus is so easily transmittable. In the study completed at Oregon State, research shows CBDA has the ability to bind to the spike protein, preventing the virus from binding to human cells that line the lungs and other organs. This could prevent or ease symptoms of COVID-19.
“That means cell entry inhibitors, like the acids from hemp, could be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and also to shorten infections by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells. They bind to the spike proteins so those proteins can’t bind to the ACE2 enzyme, which is abundant on the outer membrane of endothelial cells in the lungs and other organs,” said van Breemen in a statement.
So what does this mean?
More clinical trials are needed; however, CBDA and CBGA could become effective treatments and preventatives for COVID-19. This discovery is significant for humans and the cannabis industry. As cannabinoids are proving to aid health and wellness, cannabis research will continue to grow, and more people will benefit from the natural healing properties the cannabis Sativa plant has to offer.