The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting the lives of people worldwide. After the emergence of the virus, scientists and other researchers raced against time to create a vaccine. However, new variants are still one of the biggest challenges for many health officials and governments.
As per a recent study by the researchers from Oregon State University, the elements in cannabis can help stop the infections from the virus, which results in Covid-19 by stopping it from entering into the body cells. Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants is the report on the study that the Journal of Natural Products released on the internet on the 10th of January 2022.
The examiners were able to identify two cannabinoid acids that can be found in the hemp variants of cannabis, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). These two can bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the microorganism responsible for causing the Covid-19. By binding the spike protein, these elements can stop the virus from getting into the cells. It opens up new opportunities to explore for curing and preventing this illness.
One of the examiners of the study who writes in the abstract that” Orally bioavailable and with previous records of safe consumption for human usage, these cannabinoids, whether left solitarily or in the hemp extracts, have the capability to stop and cure the infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2′.
The researcher from the Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center in the College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute, Richard van Breemen is the lead of the entire research. He, along with the scientists of Oregon Health & Science University worked jointly for the research to examine every point. The lead researcher of the study Van Breeman said their research on cannabinoids can be easily found and are readily available.
As per the local media, Van Breeman has told them that the cannabinoid acids are available in bulk quantities in the many hemp extracts. He further added that, unlike THC which is the psychoactive element in marijuana, they are safe for human consumption and do not count as controlled substances.
The usefulness of the Cannabinoids in Preventing New Variants
The new Covid variants coming up are becoming a concern for everyone. As per Van Breemen, the CBDA and CBGA can block the impact that the new variants of the virus that results in Covid-19. He further said that their study concludes that the hemp element has the same efficacy against the new variants emerging of the SARS-CoV-2, such as the variant B.1.1.7 (the Alpha variant) identified in the UK first and the variant B.1.351 (the Beta variant) identified in South Africa. Covid-19 vaccinations and antibody treatments address the spike protein, which is the same component of the virus that vaccinations and antibody therapies target. SARS-CoV-2 has three additional protein molecules, 16 nonstructural proteins, and many elements van Breemen refers to as accessory proteins, each of which could be possibilities for medications produced to prevent Covid-19.
As per van Breeman, “any part infection and its replication cycle will be a prospective place for antiviral intervention. That is why the link of the spike protein’s receptor binding domain with the human cell surface receptor ACE2 is one of the most vital phases of that cycle.” He further said, “It implies that the cell entry inhibitors, such as the acids from hemp can help stop SARS-CoV-2 infection while reducing the infections by stopping the virus particles from infecting the body cells. They bind to the spike proteins, preventing them from binding to the ACE2 enzyme that is found in abundance on the exterior membrane surface of endothelial cells throughout the body, including the lungs and other organs”.
There is still potential and the need for more research and findings, nevertheless van Breemen noted that his findings display how cannabinoids can help stop and cure the Covid-19 if it can be developed into medication.
Van Breemen noted that”These elements have a history of safe consumption and usage by humans and use can take them orally.” He further stated that ” They can stop and cure the infections by the SARS-CoV-2. Hemp plants produce CBDA and CBGA as precursors to CBD and CBG, which is why many consumers already know about it. But, they are not the same as acids and are not contained in hemp products.”
Furthermore, Van Breeman also noted that the findings of the study show that cannabinoids are efficacious against the emerging variants of the Covid-19, which is the main concern for many health officials, governments, agencies, and scientists globally.
van Breemen added” The new variants are notable for their resistance and the evading of the vaccines against the early lineage SARS-CoV-2. It is a concern since the ongoing vaccination programs depend on the early lineage spike protein as an antigen”. However, he went on to say that” The findings of our research and the data indicate that CBDA and CBGA are effective against the two new variants and that there is anticipation that the case will be the same against the current and future variants.”
“Advanced variations may potentially emerge with extensive usage of marijuana,” the researcher continued, “but the combination of cannabinoids and CBDA/CBGA treatment should provide for a far more difficult condition for SARS-CoV-2.”