Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) exhibit anti-COVID activity in culture, according to data published in the Journal of Natural Products.

Researchers with the University of Oregon reported that both cannabinoids inhibited the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human epithelial cells. Authors reported that the cannabinoid acids showed equal efficacy against multiple COVID variants. 

Both compounds are abundant organically in raw hemp plants and in certain hemp extracts.

By contrast, activated compounds such as THC and CBD failed to show efficacy in the models.

Authors concluded, “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.”

Prior preclinical studies and reviews have similarly suggested that certain cannabis compounds could potentially modulate COVID infections. However, to date, no human studies have substantiated the theory that cannabinoids can assist in either preventing COVID infections or in mitigating symptoms of the virus. Clinical trial data published in November failed to demonstrate that the adjunctive use of CBD aided COVID patients in their recovery from the virus. An observational study published in October reported an association between problematic cannabis use and an increased risk of COVID breakthrough infections.  

Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the US Food and Drug Administration has sent numerous warning letters to companies for misrepresenting their CBD products as a COVID treatment options for patients. NORML has repeatedly cautioned consumers to beware of online misinformation surrounding the commercial marketing of either whole-plant cannabis or CBD as potential remedies for the COVID-19 virus.

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoids block cellular entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the emerging variants,” appears in theJournal of natural Products.

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