Study: Hemp compounds could help stem COVID-19 spread


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hemp compounds identified by Oregon State University researchers with a chemical screening technique may have the ability to prevent coronavirus from entering human cells, according to a new study.

Two acids found in hemp, cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, bind themselves to the spike proteins on COVID-19, which blocks a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people.

Hemp, known scientifically as Cannabis Sativa, can be used for a variety of products, such as cosmetics, body lotions, dietary supplements and food.

This new study on hemp compounds, led by Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute, was published Monday in the Journal of Natural Products.

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

Researchers say the compounds have been found to be effective in preventing both the alpha and beta variants from infecting the body. More studies are being done on additional variants.

Van Breemen said he has written and submitted multiple grant proposals to the National Institutes of Health for funding to further this research.

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