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Oregon State study shows hemp compounds block coronavirus

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Oregon State study shows hemp compounds block coronavirus

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Research from Oregon State University shows hemp compounds can prevent coronavirus from entering human cells. 

The study was led by Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute. The findings were published Tuesday in the Journal of Natural Products, according to an OSU news release.

Van Breemen and other researchers, which include scientists at Oregon Health & Science University, found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to coronavirus spike proteins, which block the way the virus infects people. 

“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen said. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans."

Van Breemen said their research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against multiple variants of the coronavirus, including the alpha variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom and the beta variant, which was first detected in South Africa.

Hemp is a source of fiber, food and animal feed, and multiple hemp extracts and compounds are added to cosmetics, body lotions, dietary supplements and food, van Breemen said.

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