In the most recent study released January 2022, researchers say cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant have potential to prevent and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. The researchers found that two cannabinoids in their raw, or acidic form, commonly found in hemp varietals of cannabis, cannabigerolic acid, or CBGa, and cannabidiolic acid, also known as CBDa, can bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. By binding to the spike protein, the compounds can prevent the virus from entering cells that cause infection, potentially offering natural method to prevent and treat the disease and aid in recovery.
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The study published in PubMed, The Potential of Cannabidiol in the Covid-19 Pandemic, the authors suggest that “cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid, has the potential to limit the severity and progression of the disease for several reasons” and supports that CBD should be considered as a “support drug against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The key data published in the research shows that “high-cannabidiol extracts are able to down-regulate the expression of the two key receptors” for SARS-CoV2, and found evidence in “several models of human epithelia” that they had studied.
They stated that “cannabidiol exerts a wide range of immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and it can mitigate the uncontrolled cytokine production responsible for acute lung injury” and it should be looked at more seriously.
A “cytokine storm”, the uncontrolled cytokine production is believed to be the cause of the most severe cases of COVID-19. In a Japanese study titled: How COVID-19 Induces Cytokine Storm with High Mortality, states that “accumulating evidence suggests that the severity of COVID-19 is associated with an increased level of inflammatory mediators including cytokines” and that the most perilous cases of COVID-19 were characterized as having cytokine storms. By taming the storms, the severity of cases is showing a decrease.
The third reason stated in the multi-country study is that CBD “can display direct antiviral activity” because of its “PPARy agonist” properties. A PPARy described as being a “regulator of fibroblast / myofibroblast activation” can “inhibit the development of pulmonary fibrosis” which, they believe, can help lung function recovery in those who have already had the virus.
This is not the first group to be published with these similar findings. Mid 2020, an early COVID research peer-reviewed study was discovered at The University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, and was published in Brain, Behavior & Immunity. The dual study agreed that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could be key to being potentially helpful.
CBD is not the only beneficial cannabinoid. Researchers in Israel did not limit the possibilities saying that it is not just CBD alone – but also minor cannabinoids and terpenes – that can also help facilitate the positive response. Their study suggested that “a combination of CBD with terpenes was 3 times more effective at inhibiting cytokine activity than dexamethasone, a corticosteroid which a recent study found to be an effective treatment for Covid-19 cytokine storms”.
With global research being conducted around the world, and studies published in articles regularly being shared throughout the internet, our hope is that this printed call-to-action be the right inspiration that it takes to push meaningful conversations. Will this research finally be the catalyst to open talks of CBD, and the Cannabis family of cannabinoids, as a potential benefit for humanity?
As more people share conversations of the benefits of the plant and its hundreds of active compounds and how they work with the body, the positives of CBD and other hemp extracts will continue to be found.
Representations regarding the efficacy and safety of cannabinoids have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease. Consult your physician prior to use if you are pregnant, nursing or using other medications.
As a complement to vaccines, small-molecule therapeutic agents are needed to treat or prevent infections by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants, which cause COVID-19. Affinity selection-mass spectrometry was used for the discovery of botanical ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Cannabinoid acids from hemp (Cannabis sativa) were found to be allosteric as well as orthosteric ligands with micromolar affinity for the spike protein. In follow-up virus neutralization assays, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid prevented infection of human epithelial cells by a pseudovirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and prevented entry of live SARS-CoV-2 into cells. Importantly, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid were equally effective against the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant B.1.1.7 and the beta variant B.1.351. 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.
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