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We definitely find this news exciting but, for us, it really is not that surprising. We are referring to a news article published January 12 2022 on the HempGrower website entitled “Oregon State Research Shows Hemp Compounds Prevent Coronavirus From Entering Human Cells” which reported on current research being performed. In particular, CBDA and CBGA are identified as potentially effective and powerful compounds able to stop the spread of COVID-19!

The title pretty much explains the news but let us flesh it out just a bit more. (For complete details, we recommend you read the above-linked original article.)

The Research*

Using a chemical screening technique invented at Oregon State University (OSU), two hemp compounds were identified as having the capacity to stop the COVID-19 virus from penetrating human cells. Specifically, the compounds able to perform this feat have been identified as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). 

(Those of you better schooled in the main compounds found in the hemp (and cannabis) plant readily recognize these two cannabinoids and can likely offer a general explanation of their properties and potential benefits. Those less familiar with cannabinoids can get a crash course by visiting our Cannabinoid Chat series, which identifies and describes major cannabinoids legally consumed in America today.)

About CBDA and CBGA

CBDA and CBGDA are the chemical precursors to CBD and CBG respectively. They appear in greater abundance during the early maturation stage and with proper cultivating techniques can remain as a key compound in the hemp plant at full maturity. 

In earlier, less informed, times, these two compounds were overlooked and considered ineffective due to their immaturity. However, over time research revealed that these acidic precursors to the “real thing” were in actuality just as real and sometimes more effective for delivering certain benefits or effects. In fact, CBDA and CBGA can convert into full-blown CBD and CBG respectively through a process called decarboxylation. (Anyone who makes edible products infused with cannabinoids is likely familiar with this method; for those who are not, we recommend our “Decarboxylation Demystified” blog article for a detailed description.)

Once it was realized that CBDA and CBGA contained greater potential benefits that could be realized through decarboxylation, more researchers began to study these younger, immature compounds more closely. New studies are indicating that these two compounds offer exciting possibilities, both in their original form and after decarboxylation.

Thanks to that increased interest, studies such as this one came about. 

How CBDA and CBGA Conquers COVID-19

Specifically, both CBDA and CBGA are able to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and when they do, it blocks an important step the virus depends upon to infect people. This spike protein is the same drug target used by COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapies. (A “drug target” is any molecule necessary for a disease to progress.) If a drug can disrupt that target, it often means that infection or disease cannot reach fruition. 

Think of these spike proteins as the key to unlocking doors that allow infections into human cells; once CBDA and CBGA bind to those spike proteins, those viruses no longer have free access to those cells… almost like those cannabinoids destroyed the keys that opened those cells! Since the infection occurs within the human cells, it is pretty much “game over” for that virus when spike proteins are disabled. In other words, when effective it can stop COVID-19 in its nasty tracks and CBDA and CBGA appear to be very successful in accomplishing this feat!

Even more impressive is that this works as effectively on two earlier variants (alpha and beta) of the COVID-19 virus; while not conclusively proving that it will be effective against every variant, the fact that it was equally effective on the only variants tested offers researchers much hope for future tests.

Considering that for nearly two full years, this pernicious virus has interrupted life and commerce around the world with countless teams of researchers desperately and urgently seeking some method of forestalling or halting the spread of this virus, we at Fern Valley Farms are very excited to learn that the very products we sell may contain the solution to this spreading pandemic!

CBDA AND CBGA PRODUCTS AT FVF

While most of our premium hemp flower contains CBDA or CBGA, we carry two specific products designed to deliver significant quantities of these compounds. As they are both in capsule form, they offer precise dosages which greatly simplifies anyone’s wellness program.

The first capsule we introduced in our store was our CBG Capsule which totes an impressive 98.8mg of CBG; that hefty quantity includes about 17mg of CBGA. It also includes a curated selection of terpenes, those aromatic compounds contained in the hemp plant and capable of providing extra wellness effects and benefits. This has been an extremely popular product for those people who struggle with discomforts and/or sleep issues; many swear they finally found the relief they have been seeking for years with these delightful and effective CBA capsules!

And talk about great timing… we have just introduced our awesome and exciting new CBDA/CBDVA Capsule with Terpenes (CBDVA is a homolog of CBDA that shares similar effects and possibly brings its own unique properties); each capsule packs a delightful combination of 38.1mg CBDA and 24.2mg CBDVA PLUS another 23mg of healing terpene compounds found in most popular hemp flower strains! While just new on our shelves, we expect similar outstanding results and high demand, due to its focus on discomfort and tension relief without any attending drowsiness or sapped energy.

Considering some of the extreme and questionable solutions to preventing or curing COVID-19 that have floated into our awareness, we have to say with all earnestness that considering cannabinoids as a proper defense against this virus is not at all far-fetched; in fact, it makes a whole lot of sense to us!

REFERENCES

*Research was led by Richard B. van Breemen (with the Global Hemp Innovation Center in the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University (OSU) and the Linus Pauling Institute). The following individuals also contributed to this study: 

  • Ruth N. Muchiri (Linus Pauling Institute)
  • Timothy A. Bates (Oregon Health & Science University)
  • Jules B. Weinstein (Oregon Health & Science University)
  • Hans C. Leier (Oregon Health & Science University)
  • Scotland Farley (Oregon Health & Science University)
  • Fikadu G. Tafesse (Oregon Health & Science University). 

The abstract and full text for this research (published January 10, 2022) can be examined at the respected Journal of Natural Products.

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