Covid-19 has been around for 2 years now and researchers are still finding a way to cure the disease, if not to reduce its infections.
On the positive side, researchers from Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Sciences University had been looking into various cannabis compounds and their effects on Covid-19.
Surprisingly, it is found that certain compounds of cannabis have the ability to block SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 infection – from entering our cells, thus preventing infection.
In the report, it is said that cannabis compounds such as cannabigerolic acid (CBG-A), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A), and cannabidiolic acid (CBD-A) can bind onto the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which then blocks one of the most critical steps in the process of the virus infecting people.
However, it is important to note that THC is technically a controlled substance and the researchers weren’t able to get enough on hand to really get a grasp of its effects in the study.
CBG-A can only be found while the cannabis plant is still in its growing phase, while CBD-A can be converted into CBD when heated up as smoke or vapor. Researchers had enough of both compounds.
The series of experiments they conducted are rather straightforward, where they incubated a live virus with each cannabis compound for 24 hours, and then injected them into human epithelial cells.
Their observations found that both CBG-A and CBD-A-treated cells lacked any SARS-CoV-2 RNA, which means that there was zero COVID-19 presence.
In addition, it was found that additional tests on live samples of the Alpha and Beta variants also showed the same results – no SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
“Our data show minimal impact of the variant lineages on the effectiveness of CBD-A and CBG-A, a trend that will hopefully extend to other existing and future variants,” the researchers said in their (peer-reviewed) study, published in the Journal of Natural Products.
Despite the finding, researchers are not recommending it as a one-stop solution. According to Richard Van Breemen, the study’s first author, the most likely and feasible solution is to use the compounds as an additional measure to COVID-19 vaccination, mainly as an oral supplement in pill or liquid form.
“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,”
“They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2. CBD-A and CBG-A are produced by the hemp plant as precursors to CBD and CBG, which are familiar to many consumers. However, they are different from the acids and are not contained in hemp products.” Van Breeman said in a press release.
While this could be a promising solution to end Covid-19, more studies are required to ensure that it is safe for public use. Hence, we are still required to get vaccinated and follow the SOPs in the meantime.