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Can Cannabinoids prevent Covid?

A research paper (see below) from Oregon State University was published just a couple of days ago, and is starting to gain some attention. What exactly did they discover and what does it mean for us?

"As a complement to vaccines, small-molecule therapeutic agents are needed to treat or prevent infections by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants, which cause COVID-19. Affinity selection–mass spectrometry was used for the discovery of botanical ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Cannabinoid acids from hemp (Cannabis sativa) were found to be allosteric as well as orthosteric ligands with micromolar affinity for the spike protein. In follow-up virus neutralization assays, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid prevented infection of human epithelial cells by a pseudovirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and prevented entry of live SARS-CoV-2 into cells. Importantly, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid were equally effective against the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant B.1.1.7 and the beta variant B.1.351. Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2."

Can cannabinoids prevent Covid?

Although the title of this study simply suggests simply that cannabinoids can prevent infection by the SARS Cov2 (Covid-19) virus, the details in the article are a bit more specific. It says that the acidic/raw forms of CBD and CBG (called CBDA and CBGA) are the ones that were shown to be effective. There is no mention of THC or THCA. Although your stoner friends might tell you otherwise, that means smoking lots of weed is not the solution.

What is CBDA?

When the hemp flowers are harvested, most of the cannabinoids are in their acidic form. For example, CBD in a freshly harvested plant is mostly in its acidic form known as CBDA or Cannabidiolic Acid. The same applies to Cannabigerol or CBG. Over time, through chemical processes of light and heat (or in a lab), the acidic form (CBDA/CBGA) is converted to CBD/CBG.

How do CBDA and CBGA help prevent Covid?

The spike protein is the part of the virus that binds to receptors in human cells, thus causing infection. Per the study, CBDA and CBGA molecules were observed to bind to the virus spike protein, preventing the virus from entering human cells and thus helping to prevent infection. CBDA and CBGA are also thought to have potent anti-inflammatory benefits.

How can I use these cannabinoids to help prevent Covid?

CBDA must be taken orally because smoking CBD hemp flower will instantly convert the CBDA into CBD. The easiest way to get CBDA into your system is to take a tincture rich in CBDA. Welliva offers a CBDA tincture made with solventless Rosin, an extraction process which maintains most of the CBDA in its raw, acidic form. Please visit the shop to learn more about this product. We recognize the potential therapeutic value of CBDA and introduced this product a year ago. Although the terpene rich flavor and spicy aftertaste can be a bit strong, it remains one of our favorite tinctures for daily use. To learn more about the potential benefits of CBDA, please read this blog post.

Can these cannabinoids replace vaccines?

Cannabinoids cannot replace vaccines! In fact, the paper begins by saying that therapeutic agents are needed as a complement to vaccines.


As we enter the third year of the global pandemic, new potential treatments and therapies are starting to emerge. Increased scientific research into cannabinoids will no doubt continue to highlight highly effective use cases. As a company specializing in cannabinoids, we welcome this news and look forward to learning more about the relationship between the hundreds of compounds found in the cannabis plant and human wellness.

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