Cannabis compounds, as complement to vaccines, can prevent coronavirus from entering human cells, study says

Hemp plant (File Photo) (Aphiwat Chuangchoem, Pexels)

Could cannabis really help prevent a positive coronavirus outcome?

A new study published by researchers at Oregon State University found that hemp compounds have the ability to prevent the virus from entering human cells, according to a report from New4JAX sister station WDIV in Detroit.

The researchers were investigating small-molecule therapeutic agents, which in addition to vaccines, might help treat or prevent infections by SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, which cause COVID-19.

The study said that cannabinoid acids from hemp (Cannabis sativa) bind to the COVID spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people and preventing the entry of live SARS-CoV-2 into cells.

“Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” according to the study.

The findings of the study, which analyzed multiple variants, were led by Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute. They were published this week in the Journal of Natural Products.

“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen told KVAL. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”

Click here to read the full study.

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About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.