Hemp compounds keep coronavirus from entering cells

The coronavirus pandemic has sent scientists across the world into a frenzy of research in an attempt to discover both natural and pharmaceutical options that either prevent COVID-19 infection or limit its severity.

And hands-down, one of the most researched of the natural variety has been CBD.

In fact, CBD or cannabidiol, a compound from the hemp plant (marijuana’s more accepted cousin), may have amazing potential in the fight against SARS-CoV-2. Studies have found its potential ranges from blocking coronavirus entry points and boosting lung-protective peptides to halting viral replication spread.

Now, the once vilified plant is once again taking the spotlight thanks to a study from researchers at Oregon State University who are honing in on the ability of hemp to target and take down COVID’s distinctive spike protein.

Hanging up a “Do Not Enter Sign” for COVID

That power to defeat COVID comes in the form of two hemp compounds the researchers identified as cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, CBDA. These compounds are actually produced by the hemp plant as precursors to CBD.

And according to Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute, “These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts. They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans. And our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.”

So how can these two natural hemp powerhouses takedown COVID?

Well, according to the researchers, it’s all about that spike protein.

You see, we’ve all heard a lot about that protein — which is the largest of the four major structural proteins found in coronaviruses. And it serves as the business end of the virus, helping it to infect its host by latching onto healthy cells.

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It’s also capable of causing some of the harmful effects attributable to COVID by damaging blood vessels.

But those Oregon researchers say that the spike protein isn’t a match for hemp.

That’s because the cannabinoid acids found in hemp are able to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people. Once they bind to the spike protein, the virus no longer has an attachment site to bind to the ACE2 enzyme, which is abundant on the outer membrane of endothelial cells in the lungs and other organs that COVID attacks.

As Breemen points out, “Any part of the infection and replication cycle is a potential target for antiviral intervention, and the connection of the spike protein’s receptor binding domain to the human cell surface receptor ACE2 is a critical step in that cycle.

“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.”

Putting hemp’s power to work

So if you’re looking to grab a little extra protection from COVID, it looks like hemp has the potential to deliver it in multiple ways, whether it’s CBD, CBGA or CBDA that’s doing the heavy lifting.

Just be sure to be aware of the possible drug interactions that go with cannabinoids before you add them to your daily routine.

Editor’s note: Have you heard of the entourage effect? Dozens of studies show it is now the most effective way to get the most out of a CBD supplement. If full-spectrum, doctor-approved, highly bioavailable CBD oil is for you, click here!

Sources:

Research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells – Medical Xpress

The novel coronavirus’ spike protein plays additional key role in illness – Salk

Spike Proteins, COVID-19, and Vaccines – Science-Based Medicine

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Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.