Conducted out of Oregon State University, researchers have made a breakthrough. Certain hemp compounds are now connected to legitimate coronavirus prevention.
Specifically, the study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, shows the ability of these hemp compounds to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells.
Led by Richard van Breeman, his team isolated two distinct cannabinoid acids, CBGA and CBDA. Both have the ability to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. By doing this, the compounds block an essential step in the process that enables the virus to infect people.
Effective, so far, against the alpha and beta variants, further testing will show whether hemp and its cannabinoids will work at preventing additional variants of the virus.
What is CBGA and CBDA?
Cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, are two compounds that exist naturally in raw hemp plants. They’re similar, to their more well-known counterparts, CBD and CBG
When a hemp plant gets heated, cured, or dried to prepare it for processing, these cannabinoid acids get transformed into new chemicals. Those are the ones you see in most hemp-derived products that line shelves today.
Access to these specific compounds are at their highest in the raw form of the plant. This is immediately after harvest. Once the plants go for processing for conversion into other products, it becomes harder to collect CBDA and CBGA.
Why they’re a great preventive option
Although they’re compounds of the cannabis plant, both CBGA and CBDA are in the hemp family. Neither have any psychoactive properties, which makes them legal throughout the U.S.
Additionally, both compounds exist in large volumes naturally. And, the compounds have a good safety profile.
Hemp’s move into medications
While this research speaks specifically to the impact hemp could have as a preventative treatment for coronavirus, hemp isn’t new to the medical industry.
Research into its applications in other areas has led to the first FDA-approved drugs. These include:
Epidiolex naturally derives from cannabidiol. The other three are classified as synthetic, cannabis-related drugs. All of these are only available with a prescription. The FDA continues to review possible hemp-derived medications, but nothing else has yet to receive approval.
The future of the coronavirus
While there’s no way to predict what the future will bring as far as coronavirus prevention goes, understanding how hemp can help is a great step forward. Seeing the proof that hemp can block the infection provides us with another protection to stay safe.
To stay up-to-date on the latest developments in all the areas hemp is useful, visit the robust resource library at Arbor Vita8. We keep our fingers on the pulse of the industry to give you the best, most relevant information. From helping farmers just getting started, to working with manufacturers to produce the products that are in-demand, we’re the experts you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more.