Cannabis Compounds Stopped COVID Virus From Infecting Human Cells In Lab Study
A new report showed that two compounds present in cannabis prevented the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, from infecting healthy cells in the human body.
Oregon State University researchers discovered two chemicals in hemp — cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) — that “were identified during a chemical screening effort as having potential to combat coronavirus, researchers from Oregon State University said. In the study, they bound to spike proteins found on the virus and blocked a step the pathogen uses to infect people.” This study was published in the Journal of Nature Products, reported Fortune.
The report said, “the researchers tested the compounds’ effect against alpha and beta variants of the virus in a laboratory. The study didn’t involve giving the supplements to people or comparing infection rates in those who use the compounds to those who don’t.” Unlike marijuana, hemp has minuscule amounts of THC which is the chemical that gives the user a high. Hemp is used in food and animal feed and is also extracted to be used in body lotion or other cosmetics.
Dr. Richard van Breemen, a researcher from Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, said, “these compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans. They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.”
It comes following another study recently published which indicated the Omicron variety has an 83 percent lower probability of requiring treatment in an intensive care unit or dying than the Delta strain. According to the findings of the Canadian study, the risk of hospitalization or death associated with an Omicron infection is 65 percent lower than the risk associated with a Delta infection.
Despite what appeared to be optimistic news, the researchers issued a cautionary note. “While severity is likely to be reduced, the absolute number of hospitalizations and impact on the healthcare system may nevertheless be significant due to the increased transmissibility of Omicron.”
The study said, “Nevertheless, Omicron appears to demonstrate lower disease severity for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. While severity is likely to be reduced, the absolute number of hospitalizations and impact on the healthcare system is likely to be significant due to the large number of Omicron infections.”
The findings of the Canadian study are consistent with those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States (CDC). According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of hospitalizations among Americans with COVID-19 has reduced by half after the introduction of the new Omicron variation, compared to record highs reached a year ago.
Despite the fact that the rate of cases has more than tripled since Omicron first emerged around Thanksgiving — earlier this week, more than 1 million new cases were diagnosed in a single day — only 3 percent of those infected with the virus are being admitted to hospitals, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the data, that percentage is less than half of the 6.5 percent of cases that required hospitalization a year ago, when the average daily case count was about 250,000, at the time. According to the CDC, the number of deaths from the virus is less than a third of what was reported in January, at around 1,200 per day, and significantly less than the record high of 3,400 recorded a year ago.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for any updates.
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