Cannabis compounds have been gaining quite a popularity for a long time for their commendable contribution to the health industry as a whole. Every new discovery on the plant has always left the scientific community surprised with its therapeutic potential.
Now the scientists have come up with another attractive study that says that the plant cannabis can prevent COVID-19, a deadly virus that took the form of a pandemic resulting in a massive loss. The study reveals that cannabis compounds can prevent infection from the virus causing coronavirus by blocking its entry into cells. Let’s read more about it in detail-
Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 And Other Variants
The study was recently undertaken by researchers affiliated with Oregon State University. One of the reports published said, “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants”
The main founding point of the study was that two cannabinoid acids, cannabigerol acid (CBGA) and cannabidiol acid (CBDA) might have the potential to bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. It is the virus that causes Covid-19. The study believes that by binding to the spike protein, these compounds can prevent the virus from entering cells and causing deadly infection in the body.
Well, the study also showed that CBDA and CBGA blocked the action of the emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 which can make the virus even riskier.
“Our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.”
“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,” wrote the researchers.
Commenting on the cannabinoids, Richard van Breeman, who led the study with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Centre with the scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University, said that these cannabinoids are common and are easily available.
“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts. They have not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”
Acknowledging the potential benefits of the cannabinoids, the researchers mentioned that though resistant variants could still emerge the combination treatment of vaccination and CBGA/CBDA should create a tough environment for the virus SARS -CoV-2.
More About Cannabinoids
CBGA and CBDA are the acidic forms of CBG (cannabigerol) and CBD (cannabidiol) respectively. Both the cannabinoids are known for their non-psychoactive properties, unlike THC or tetrahydrocannabinol which is crazily followed for its intoxicating effects. THC is known to induce the ‘high’ that people commonly associate with marijuana use.
Talking of the legal status of the compounds, CBD got legal with the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp for commercial purposes. So, all compounds derived from hemp containing .3% of THC also got legalized for sale and purchase.
Pure THC still remains illegal at the federal level for its psychotropic properties.
Cannabinoids: Therapeutic Potential
Cannabis has a long history as a medicinal plant. Cannabinoids, such as CBD, THC, CBG, and others enjoy a dedicated following for their therapeutic potential. A wide range of patients uses cannabinoids to get relief from an assortment of medical conditions, such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, PTDA (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), spasticity, Fibromyalgia, multiples sclerosis, nausea, epilepsy, and even cancer. People with the certification of a medical marijuana doctor can use medical cannabis for the treatment of some debilitating medical conditions.
The popularity of marijuana has reached a point where patients are replacing their conventional pain medication with products like CBD oils, gummies, capsules, etc. There have been users who report more satisfactory results from cannabis compounds than their regular pharmaceuticals.
Even scientific evidence shows that cannabinoids have the potential to manage the symptoms of severe medical conditions. For instance, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved only one CBD-infused medication ‘Epidiolex’ for the treatment of seizures in two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Cancer patients also use CBD to manage nausea and vomiting, two of the most feared side effects of cancer-induced chemotherapy. Patients report that CBD provides significant relief than their prescription medications.
Though it is known that cannabis holds significant medical potential, yet lack of rigorous research on the subject inhibits the scientists from commenting anything with certainty on the plant’s long-term potential.
Are There Any Risks?
Well, as with any other chemical substance, cannabinoids also have their own pros and cons. Though a moderate use of cannabis does not really produce any side effects, there are a lot of other factors that come into play. If you are a new cannabis user or follow an irresponsible use of the plant, it may lead to the following side-effects:
- Red eyes
- Dry mouth
- Short-term memory loss
- Poor coordination
- Lack of concentration
Excessive use of the substance can lead to some serious side effects in the long term. Make sure you consult your physician before consuming marijuana if you take any medications that might interact with cannabis.
Also Read: Cannabis and Covid: Is There Any Truth in the Associations?
In a nutshell, it can be said that cannabis compounds have been a significant source of contribution in the medical field. More and more states have started acknowledging its growing potential by legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. Yet, more detailed and structured research is required to study the long-term effects of cannabis and its compounds.