Cannabis vs. COVID-19: A Match Made in Oregon

No other plant in the history of the world has been so versatile. Cannabis sativa.. far cry. With a product infused with about 25,000 hemp for its honor, cannabis is second to none. For centuries, this lush little plant has surprised us with its seemingly endless usefulness. This time in the field of health, as a hopeful new weapon in the fight against COVID-19 and subsequent variants.

The only determinant to classify for clarity Cannabis sativa Hemp or marijuana is the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produced by plants. It is a level over 0.3% and is marijuana by law. The THC production level of hemp is very low, well, it’s hemp. However, hemp does not need THC to perform that magic.

SARS & COVID-19

SARS is a derogatory virus, SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease-2019), and is a subsequent pandemic. SARS, an acronym for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, has swept the globe in the tsunami of death. Several parts of the globe have escaped the plague. Near home, more than 40,000 people have died in Canada and one million in the United States in less than three years.

Doctors, immunologists, researchers and scientists around the world are constantly looking for effective means of combating and treating this deadly disease. And on the west coast of the United States, changes in the viral substrate may be occurring.

Search for a cure

Within the Oregon State University laboratory, the battle, and perhaps even history, is moving forward. And once again, uncontrollable hemp plants are at the forefront of scientific progress. A team of Oregon scientists have made amazing discoveries. They identified two acidic compounds in hemp that have been shown to prevent the SARS virus from invading cells in the body.

These findings have recently been top notch Journal of Natural Products.. The potential impact of this pioneering discovery is staggering. COVID-19 infects the body by invading epithelial cells of the respiratory tract and spreads to other areas as it replicates. But what does it do if it cannot penetrate the cell?

I wanted to know more about this promising new development and contacted the project’s chief scientist. He was kind enough to allow the interview. Before we get started, there are a few words you need to know.

  • Ligand – Another, often, a molecule that binds to a larger molecule.
  • Spike protein– In virology, a spike protein is a protein that forms a large structure called a spike or peplomer that protrudes from the wrapped molecule. This structure is used by the SARS virus to invade and invade cells. It’s like a pointed crown. Latin for crown and corona. Like a virus.
  • Mass spectrometry– Is an analytical lab technique for separating sample components by mass and charge.
  • Assay– Evaluation, analysis.

Scientists behind science

Richard Van Bremen is a very busy male professor of pharmacy at Oregon State University’s Faculty of Pharmacy and the Linus Pauling Institute Global Hemp Innovation Center in Corvallis, Oregon. Especially if he has to write down the title frequently.

Professor Van Bremen and his team, along with scientists at Oregon Health & Science University, are praised for their promising new discoveries. Discoveries that could potentially block the SARS virus on that track.

High Times: Thank you, Professor. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview.

Professor Van Bremen: You are welcome. thank you.

Please tell us your background.

I had a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a PhD from Oberlin College in 1980. He received his PhD in Pharmacology in 1985 from Johns Hopkins University. I enrolled in North Carolina State University and taught chemistry until 1993. He then moved to Chicago, where he taught medicinal chemistry and pharmacology at the University of Illinois School of Pharmacy until 2017 before moving to Oregon State University. I have been a professor of pharmacy at Oregon State University since 2018 (4 and a half years).

How long have you studied hemp?

I have been studying hemp since the establishment of the Global Hemp Innovation Center in 2018.

We also understand that we have invented a mass spectrometry process to measure these promising results. correct?

yes. In 1996, my research group invented pulsed ultrafiltration (PUF) mass spectrometry, which is one of several affinity selection-mass spectrometry approaches for screening a mixture of compounds in the early stages of drug discovery. Did.

In 2008, we invented a faster affinity selective mass spectrometry process using magnetic microbeads called MagMASS for affinity selective screening of magnetic microbeads. MagMASS was used in the recent discovery of SARS-CoV-2 for cannabinoid acids that prevent the virus from entering human cells.

Isn’t it dangerous to deal with a living virus?

Working with live SARS-CoV-2 requires special containment facilities and expertise. Fortunately, we have begun a collaboration with Dr. Fikadutafes of Oregon Health & Science University, who has just set up a laboratory for live cell culture experiments. SARS-CoV-2.

When did you first start the cannabis and COVID project? Also, how long does it take to get a positive test result?

Our COVID study began in the spring of 2019. As laboratory director, I focused my group’s affinity selection-mass spectrometry project on the discovery of natural anti-SARS-CoV-2 compounds.

By the summer of 2020, MagMASS assays targeting viral peplomers will work, with cannabidiol acid (CBDA), cannabidiolophosphate (CBGA), and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid-A (THCA-A) spiked. Protein ligand. This research was mainly done by my laboratory director, Dr. Ruth Muchili.

When Dr. Tafessse’s group reported that they observed the antiviral effect of preventing cell invasion by CBDA and CBGA in late 2020, we found that our peplomer ligand was active against live viruses. ..

For clarity, what are your team’s specific discoveries …?

Our team discovered that cannabidiol acid (CBDA) and cannabidiolophosphate (CBGA) can bind to the SARS-CoV-2 peplomer. We also found that these compounds could block cell invasion using live SARS-CoV-2.

And what does that mean for possible treatments?

This means that cell entry inhibitors such as acid from hemp can also be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and shorten infection by preventing viral particles from infecting human cells. ..

It’s an extraordinary discovery and a perfect segue. What happens to a virus if it cannot break the cells?

If the virus cannot enter the cell, it is recognized as a foreign body and destroyed by the immune system. By blocking the invasion of cells, the virus cannot replicate itself. Without a copy to overwhelm the body’s defenses, the virus particles are cleared by white blood cells.

Do we know if cannabis compounds that fight these viruses are safe for people?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has never been a fatal overdose of cannabis, hemp, or cannabinoids. This includes an FDA-approved cannabidiol drug called Epidiolex for the control of certain types of seizures. This level of safety is notable and unusual for any drug or natural product.

So what are you looking forward to now?

Affinity Selection-Mass Spectrometry We look forward to expanding our natural drug discovery program. Nature continues to be a vast and almost undeveloped source of new therapies. Perhaps less than 10% of natural products have been found and tested for therapeutic activity.

By applying our unique mass spectrometry method to natural drug discovery, we hope to foster a new generation of biomedical researchers and continue their research while further contributing to human health.

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