That cannabis offers more than a high has been known for millennia. Hemp is a traditional medicinal plant that contains an eclectic mix of terpenes, flovonoids, and most importantly, cannabinoids. About 100 of these cannabinoids have been studied so far and the most well-known is certainly the intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, unfolds its medical effects without any intoxication. It is a potent pain reliever, relieves anxiety, can prevent epileptic seizures and has an anti-inflammatory effect. According to one, its herbal precursor CBDA, the acid of cannabidiol and another cannabinoid – cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) – work Study by Oregon State University even against SARS-CoV-2. The two acids bind to the spike protein of the virus and thus prevent the virus from docking to the cells.
The scientists are convinced that the two natural substances should not only help prophylactically against the infection, but also alleviate the symptoms of a disease that has already broken out – albeit only to a limited extent. The researchers emphasize that they cannot replace vaccination.
We have been confronted with the corona virus and the pandemic for almost two years now. The large complex of topics provides a lot of material for reporting. Here is a selection of articles about new variants, symptoms such as Long Covid and news about the vaccines.
Hemp is known as a traditional medicinal plant
Also, the cannabinoids have so far only shown their effectiveness against the virus in the laboratory. Inactivating viruses isolated in laboratory glass using substances is still a long way from having an effect on humans. However, it is known from the traditional medicinal plant hemp that it is well tolerated and has hardly any side effects – and is not intoxicating: CBD is the main active ingredient in so-called medicinal cannabis. The plants that are used medicinally are bred for particularly low THC levels – in contrast to the coffee shop goods, which are optimized for high THC levels.
The researchers consider the concentrations of CBGA and CBDA in the blood that are necessary to actually prevent an infection to be high, but clinically feasible. What is important, however, is the small difference between the now famous CBD and the CBDA effective in the study: Only the acid acts directly against the virus by binding the spike protein. For CBD, there is only evidence that it activates innate immune mechanisms.
How exactly individual cannabinoids work where is still largely unknown. The two cannabinoid receptors found in humans so far cannot explain all of the effects of these molecules. Some researchers suspect that – as with many herbal remedies – it ultimately depends on the mixture of ingredients and that individual molecules from complex plant mixtures are less effective than the entire cocktail.
However, anyone who now contacts the dealer they trust and relies on smoking weed and cookies against COVID-19 is in any case ill-advised: the strong heating of the plant material when burning or baking largely turns the acids that are effective against SARS-CoV-2 into neutral ones connections converted. However, they do not bind spike proteins and thus do not support infection protection.
Commercially available CBD oils are only effective to a limited extent. If they are freshly and gently made from hemp blossoms, they can contain larger amounts of acids, but light and aging processes break down the acids quickly. Some of these oils are also pretreated to convert the CBDA in favor of higher concentrations of CBD. Currently, the best way to benefit from the benefits of CBDA and CBGA is also the simplest: brewing a hemp flower tea from the pharmacy.