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Lab Studies Show Compounds in Cannabis Can Block COVID-19 Infections

Lab Studies Show Compounds in Cannabis Can Block COVID-19 Infections

The Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson jokes were flying on Twitter on Wednesday when it was announced that a new study has found that compounds in the cannabis plant can block the COVID-19 infection.

Cannabinoids have been found to prevent infection from the virus by blocking its entry into cells, according to a new study published this week by researchers affiliated with Oregon State University. A report on the research, “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants,” was published online on Monday by the Journal of Natural Products.


Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. even though the drug is banned under federal law. More Americans believe pot should be legal—68% according to the latest Gallup poll—and 18% of Americans now admit to using it, up from 10% in 2005. In the states where it’s already been legalized, the local economies have seen exponential returns. Connecticut, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia all legalized adult use this year.

The researchers found that two cannabinoid acids 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 and causing infection, potentially offering new avenues to prevent and treat the disease.

The study also showed CBDA and CBGA blocked the action of new variants including Delta and Omicron. Although further research is needed, it shows the potential of using cannabinoids to develop new drugs to prevent or treat Covid-19. “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,” the researchers wrote.

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Read the full study here.


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