Research Found That CBD & CBG May Prevent Coronavirus
Even if you are a healthy individual, phytocannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant, can help you maintain your physical well-being. Compounds found in Cannabis sativa, the scientific name for the hemp plant, have shown they can also prevent or overcome a range of diseases like Coronavirus.
One of the most well-known hemp derivatives, CBD, may soon be joined by two more phytocannabinoids that can serve as natural remedies. January 2022 brought some promising coronavirus news in the fight against new and repeat infections. Pharmacology researchers at Oregon State University discovered that two compounds found in hemp could bind to the spike protein molecules in the virus that causes COVID-19.
How Researchers Find Ways To Block the Virus-and-Receptor Interaction
A specific protein on its spike enables a SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter a human cell and begin replicating. When the spike protein connects with the ACE2 receptor protein on a human epithelial cell, it forms a connection that allows the virus to pass on its genetic material. When the new genetic material enters the host cell, it “takes over” and programs the cell to begin replicating the virus. This replication process, called viral or cellular tropism, leads to the symptoms and harm caused by COVID-19.
Researchers look for ways to prevent a virus from attaching itself to a host cell. Because a specific protein enables the “latching on” action in the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spike, any substance that blocks that attachment process can help prevent a viral infection. These compounds are generally called cell entry inhibitors. By binding itself to the proteins on the coronavirus spike, an effective cell entry inhibitor prevents those proteins from binding with the receptor protein on a human epithelial cell. Without making that connection, the virus can’t latch on to a human host cell and cause an infection.
The research team at the OSU College of Pharmacy used the university’s innovative MagMass chemical screening process on several botanical compounds to determine which might act as a cell entry inhibitor. In addition to hemp-derived compounds, the team also screened dietary supplement botanicals, such as licorice, wild yam, and red clover.
The study revealed that two hemp-derived compounds, cannabidiolic acid, and cannabigerolic acid, also called CBDA and CBGA, can bond to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Once the bonding occurs, it prevents the coronavirus spike from latching onto the ACE2 protein found on the outer surface of human epithelial cells.
How CBD and CBG Acids Might Help Prevent COVID Infections
Even with an abundance of caution, the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to infect individuals across the world. Individuals who have received full dosages of recommended vaccines and boosters have also experienced “breakthrough” infections of COVID-19 despite taking precautionary measures. It’s estimated that the coronavirus will continue to replicate, spread, and infect humans worldwide over the next several years.
Over 200 plants have been shown to contain natural compounds with various antiviral actions. Plant-based antiviral substances tend to be more cost-effective and safer than many chemical-based pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, many botanical approaches to blocking virus-and-receptor interactions have not received the attention they deserve. The less-than-earnest attention may be attributed to the previously unavailable processes required to isolate and extract compounds under consideration. As shown by the innovative techniques used by the OSU research team, however, newly developed technologies allow researchers to explore new plant-based anti-viral approaches.
CBDA and CBGA, the cannabinoid acids found in hemp extracts and studied by the OSU team, have no psychoactive effects and have been proven safe for human use. Both CBDA and CBGA bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein; by doing so, they can prevent the virus from latching onto the epithelial cells in the human respiratory system.
Read also the Covid Update from Healthy Living
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Written in partnership with Upstate Elevator.