Cannabis has been used medicinally by humans for thousands of years. A new study now describes a protective effect of the active ingredient against corona.
Corvallis, USA – For the past two years, the coronavirus has had the world in a stranglehold. But over time, people learned to get the virus under control better. Of course, the vaccination, which turned out to be a success story, is particularly important. More and more drugs are now being approved, although in contrast to vaccination, no miracle cure has yet emerged. Researchers at Oregon State University have now apparently found another way to fight the pandemic: cannabis.
US researchers with a new study: Cannabis protects against corona – but not alone
The plant has been used as a remedy since ancient times and is often used again today as a medicine, also because drug policy is becoming more and more liberal. Medical cannabis is prescribed, for example, for cancer or chronic pain. The US researchers have now researched the effect in connection with Corona and have come to happy results, which they published in the Journal of Natural Products .
They found that cannabinoids block the entry of the coronavirus into the cells and thus protect against infection. The acids CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) and CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) apparently bind the spike protein and thus prevent entry into the cells. Unlike THC, CBGA and CBDA are not psychoactive. CBD drops or other products that contain CBD can therefore easily be bought in drugstores or specialty shops in Germany.
“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” explains study leader Richard van Breemen, as reported by ntv. An advantage of the cannabinoids studied is that they are widespread and readily available.
Van Breemen further explains that the corresponding preparations with cannabinoids can be taken by mouth. They are intended to alleviate the symptoms of a corona infection. However, he also emphasizes that cannabinoids alone are not enough against Corona. Therapy with CBD oils only makes sense in combination with vaccination.
Cannabinoids bind to the spike protein of the coronavirus – Cannabis shortens infection
But how exactly does cannabis therapy against Corona work? In connection with Corona, spike proteins are often mentioned. These are protruding protein structures of a virus envelope. These are important in binding the virus to the host cell. This is exactly what should be prevented. This is also the aim of the corona vaccinations and antibody therapies.
The cannabinoids bind to the spike proteins and thus prevent the virus from docking to the body’s enzyme ACE2. “This means that cell entry inhibitors, such as the acids from hemp, could be used to prevent Sars-CoV-2 infection,” says van Breemen. Cannabinoids might also shorten infections as they might block the virus from further multiplying.
However, the study has not yet been carried out with the current corona variants. However, the researchers concluded that the hemp compounds were effective against both the alpha variant and the beta variant. However, van Breemen is confident that they will also work with newer virus variants. “Our data show that CBDA and CBGA are effective against the two variants we studied, and we hope this trend will extend to other existing and future variants as well.” The Oregon researchers’ study isn’t the first, however, which establishes a protective effect of cannabis against corona. Canadian researchers came to the same conclusion in spring 2020, shortly after the outbreak of the pandemic. (md) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA