The study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, was a collaboration between scientists at Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University.
The laboratory study used chemical screening techniques to discover that a pair of distinct cannabinoid acids in hemp — known as cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA — bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people.
The study was led by Richard van Breeman, Ph.D., a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute.
“Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, we were profiling secondary compounds in hemp extracts in collaboration with OSU Global Hemp Innovation Center,” said Ruth Muchiri, the research and development lab manager. “When COVID-19 forced lab closure in 2020, we were looking for a project that would be essential to allow our lab to remain active and contribute towards the ongoing effort to fight the virus.”
Van Breemen said cells of COVID-19 must bind to a specific protein on human cells to begin cell entry and infection.
'These variants are well known for evading antibodies against early lineage SARS-CoV-2, which is obviously concerning given that current vaccination strategies rely on the early lineage spike protein as an antigen.
'Our data show CBDA and CBGA are effective against the two variants we looked at, and we hope that trend will extend to other existing and future variants.'
“By blocking this key interaction of a virus surface protein with a human cell surface protein, infection is inhibited,” said Van Breemen. “Hemp compounds like CBDA and CBGA, which block cell entry by SARS-CoV-2, might be useful for preventing COVID-19 infections in people recently exposed to others testing positive.”
Link to the study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35007072/
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