It has been two years that this world is battling this war against human life. With many theories and transgressive ideologies, there are even more counter treatments, medicines and therapies. It is utterly confusing for anyone to rightly understand, accept and daily adapt to uni-directional or one treatment of this cause. In India, we are having a debate, some people say there is no cure, some people say only medicines and vaccines are a cure, some people have lost faith already while they lost some close ones’.
But what is the cure? Cure is defined as something that relieves one of a disease or its symptoms or its condition. With the expansive timeline, multiple studies and experiential medicines and trails as well in some cases, humankind stands now with proving alternatives. Data that suffices why a group of treatments or medicine are better and more effective than others or contrarily available.
A recent study in Oregon University on Hemp Compounds in reference to Covid, showed remarkable results. The study emphasizes on how Hemp Compounds are a source of prevention or active agents that are actively performing when Coronavirus tries to enter the cells of a human body.
What is Hemp? Hemp, a variety of Hemp Sativa plant, grows naturally in several parts of India. Its benefits, uses, and applications are penned down in several ayurvedic scriptures, proving its endless wellness has been historical to Indian culture. But the popularity of the Hemp plant has only recently found its footing. It can be said the Hemp Industry is still in its nascent stage, blooming with possibilities. Hemp is so dynamic that it can provide us with fiber, fuel, food, animal fodder, extracts for medicine and cosmetics, to name a few.
At Oregon Health & Science University, a study has been led by a researcher named Richard Van Breeman along with scientists and other fellow collaborators with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute. The paper has been published in one of the esteemed publications, i.e. Journal of Natural Products.
Talking further about it, Its primary objective states that compounds of hemp identified in research by the Oregon State University through various processes and chemical screening procedures, show that Hemp has the potential of preventing the Covid virus from entering the human body. To specify, yes it is the same virus that causes COVID-19 by attacking and infecting the cells. They found that acids of a pair of cannabinoids bind the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It also blocks the critical advances the virus uses or carries to infect humans.
Cannabigerolic acid or otherwise known as CBGA and Cannabidiolic acid also known as CBDA are the two main compounds and the spike protein is the same drug target which is used in COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapy. What is a drug target? A drug target is a molecule in the body, usually a protein, that is intrinsically associated with a particular disease process and that could be addressed by a drug to produce a desired therapeutic effect.
“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen said. “They are not controlled substances like Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans. And our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.” Oregon State research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells
The team of researchers screened not a small sample but screened a range of botanicals that are used in dietary supplements like wild yam, species of licorice, hops and red clover. The process of using these compounds that block virus-receptor interaction has been proven to be helpful for covid patients and other viral infections. Strikingly astounding information that this is also helpful in HIV-1 and hepatitis.
“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” van Breemen said. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2. CBDA and CBGA are produced by the hemp plant as precursors to Cannabidiol and CBG, which are familiar to many consumers. However, they are different from the acids and are not contained in hemp products.” Oregon State research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells Peer-Reviewed Publication OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
In another paper, published as Advances in Magnetic Microbead Affinity Selection Screening: Discovery of Natural Ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein, the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry states that tailoring the novel method, affinity selection mass spectrometry, i.e. to explore the drugs that would specifically target the spike protein SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, in research, the tests have resulted in cannabigerolic acid preventing the infection of epithelial cells of the human body. In addition, it also prevented the entry of the infection into the cells.
As per Van Breeman, he explains, “that the affinity mass spectrometry, which he abbreviates to AS-MS, involves incubating a drug target like the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with a mixture of possible ligands – things that might bind to it – such as a botanical extract, in this case hemp extract.” The ligand-receptor complexes are further filtered from the non-binding molecules using one of many ways.
“We identified several cannabinoid ligands and ranked them by affinity to the spike protein,” van Breemen said. “The two cannabinoids with the highest affinities for the spike protein were CBDA and CGBA, and they were confirmed to block infection, adds Mr. Breeman.
“One of the primary concerns in the pandemic is the spread of variants, of which there are many, and B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 are among the most widespread and concerning,” he added. “These variants are well known for evading antibodies against early lineage SARS-CoV-2, which is obviously concerning given that current vaccination strategies rely on the early lineage spike protein as an antigen. Our data show CBDA and CBGA are effective against the two variants we looked at, and we hope that trend will extend to other existing and future variants.” - Oregon State research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells
He added, “resistant variants could still arise amid widespread use of cannabinoids but that the combination of vaccination and CBDA/CBGA treatment should make for a much more challenging environment for SARS-CoV-2.” Further, “Our earlier research reported on the discovery of another compound, one from licorice, that binds to the spike protein too,” he said. “However, we did not test that compound, licochalcone A, for activity against the live virus yet. We need new funding for that.”
With the myths and misinformation surrounding the Hemp plant and its use, it has been noticed by doctors that people are hesitant to take Vijaya leaf extract based medication. But it has also been retrieved by the same doctors that once they trust the doctor and his or her practice, they start with the medication and certainly come back and share their experiences. The experiences are fortunately positive. They registered leaving many other medications they were dependent on for lifestyle disorders, even so they had better health overall as it promotes holistic healing as it works on the endocannabinoid system in ones’ body.
Fortunately, we have access to these studies and also the medicines here in India. The Ayurveda Community has well trained vaidyas and doctors practicing Medical Hemp. We have testimonials available from credible doctors who have helped Covid positive patients with Indian Ayurvedic Medicine in combination with Vijaya leaf extract and observed maximum recovery rate with good progress from side effects as well. With this information, we only want to encourage everyone to trust and follow the advice of doctors and also the Indian Ayurvedic Medicine for help.
The availability of plant based medicine with proving results is indeed a promising sign. It only makes our trust in Ayurveda more concrete.