*Disclaimer: This article is not meant to serve as a substitute for veterinary advice. Dr.Hempdog believes firmly in the contents of this article because of the thorough research that backs it up and our own experiences with the thousands of dogs that we have helped through the years (including our own). You should always defer to your veterinarian when adding anything to your dog's unique wellness routine.
Note from the Science Team: Hey everyone! Unlike most of the pieces we share on this blog, this isn’t a dog-specific article. However, we wanted to share this news regardless, since it’s relevant and interesting to all of us.
A recent study* (Jan 2022) published by Oregon State University found that the cannabinoids CBDA and CBGA successfully prevented COVID-19 infection in human cells, stating that CBGA and CBDA “have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.” Both cannabinoids did so by binding to spike proteins on the virus, stopping it from entering and infecting new cells.
As explained by the study, “binding of the viral spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to the human cell surface … is a critical step during the infection of human cells. Therefore, cell entry inhibitors (such as CBGA and CBDA) could be used to prevent and shorten COVID-19 infection by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells.”
All the more impressively, researchers found that “hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2,” including Alpha and Beta variants, which first emerged in 2020.
However, other studies do conflict with these findings. In particular, one recent study* found that CBDA exhibited little to no antiviral activity against COVID-19, which goes to show that this is clearly a complex situation, and not nearly so straightforward as “X cannabinoid cures COVID.”
*Notably, this study also found that isolated CBD could actually combat the virus in a completely different way by “blocking viral replication after entry into cells,” potentially making it useful against COVID-19 variants with mutated spike proteins. However, other tested cannabinoids didn’t share this property, and THC even inhibited it, which means more study is necessary to understand how certain cannabinoids interact with COVID-19.
What are CBGA and CBDA?
CBGA and CBDA are “cannabinoid acids,” which are the original forms of many cannabinoids. CBD, for example, starts its life as CBDA, which is then converted into CBD via a heat-activation process known as “decarboxylation.” CBGA can be converted into CBG in the same way.
Most companies do decarboxylate their cannabinoid acids, as research shows CBGA and CBDA generally aren’t as potent as their decarboxylated, non-acid counterparts; however, CBGA and CBDA do have novel uses for very specific cases.
In case people at home are wondering, while this study does outline a fascinating potential for CBGA and CBDA to be used in the treatment of COVID-19, these findings aren’t very applicable to smoked/vaporized solutions. As mentioned above, decarboxylation is a heat-based process, so by the time temperatures get high enough to vaporize CBGA and CBDA, they’d already be decarboxylating into CBG and CBD. In order to use CBGA or CBDA for this purpose, they’d have to be extracted as a liquid (which is entirely possible, though relatively uncommon in the industry).
Does Dr.Hempdog Contain CBGA/CBDA?
The CBG and CBD found in Dr.Hempdog do originally start out as CBGA and CBDA, but current evidence shows that the acid forms of these cannabinoids are less effective for inflammation and anxiety (though they do have niche uses, as shown by several preliminary studies). All the science points to the compounds in our product (CBD, CBG, CBC, CBDV, etc.) being the most effective choices for the ailments we use them for in dogs.
Looking to the Future
Although we seem to be emerging from the worst parts of the pandemic, there may be more difficult times on the horizon, especially with the continued emergence of new COVID-19 variants. Based on the studies above, there’s clearly an incredible potential to use cannabinoids to combat SARS-CoV-2. Mainstream cannabinoid medicine of this variety isn’t as far-fetched as some might think; precedent already exists in the form of Epidiolex, an FDA-approved CBD medication for certain forms of epilepsy which has seen increasing use in recent years.
Dr.Hempdog is constantly keeping up with (and facilitating) the latest cannabinoid science in order to better help our furry friends. We look forward to seeing more trials emerge to determine the viability of potential cannabinoid treatments, particularly in the context of cannabinoid co-administration, extract purity, administration methods, and their effects on the virus. Depending on what researchers find, a specialized, cannabinoid-based medicine for COVID-19 may be closer than we think.
Have Any Questions? Contact Us or Comment Below
If you have any questions about these remarkable findings, or about how cannabinoids can help your animal(s) with some of the ailments they may suffer from, please reach out to our team of experts by visiting our website, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or giving us a call at (720) 773-9595. Alternatively, you can leave a comment below and we’ll respond promptly, ensuring that others with the same question can easily find the answer.
- Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35007072/
- Cannabidiol inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication through induction of the host ER stress and innate immune responses: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abi6110