Analysis of the publication showing that cannabinoids prevent coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV 2) infection

Content of the publication:  

A new study regarding the prevention of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection responsible for COVID-19 was published on January 10, 2022, in the scientific journal “The Journal of Natural Products”[1]. 

Researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland (USA) have demonstrated the potential of cannabinoids to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

The following study focus on the screening by affinity selection mass spectrometry (AS-MS) of selected plant extracts (red clover, wild yam, hops, licorice and cannabis) for potential affinity with the spike protein of coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and thus block its infection.  

The spike protein was defined as responsible for the fusion of coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) with the host membrane through its binding domain to the human cell surface receptor ACE2 which is expressed abundantly on human endothelial cells in the lungs, arteries, heart, kidney, and intestines[2]. 

Once the spike protein binds to the receptor, a conformational change occurs, causing virus fusion with the host membrane and entering the cytoplasm[3].  

Previously it was shown that the receptor binding domain of the spike protein could be blocked by molecules with high affinity.  

Among the plant extracts analyzed in this study, the researchers were able to deduce that “orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use cannabinoids, including cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat SARS-CoV-2 infection” in the laboratory conditions. The authors claim that the doses used for these studies were nontoxic for the cell, however further analyses need to be performed to clarify that similarly high doses would be safe for humans.  


Conclusion of the publication: 

Cannabinoids may have potential preventive effects against SARS-CoV-2 infection. 


Nowadays medical cannabinoids are pervasive in many countries. In Switzerland it is possible to get them with a prescription in the form of magistral preparations available in certain pharmacies. 

For treatment containing THC > 1%, an exceptional authorization from the FOPH is required. 

For more information you can check our website: 

For patients/persons interested in treatment see: Patients – Cannabis Therapeutics (cannabis-therapeutics.ch)

For doctors see: Prescribers – Cannabis Therapeutics (cannabis-therapeutics.ch)  


The full study publication is available here Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants | Journal of Natural Products (acs.org) 



[1] van Breemen et al., “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants.” 

[2] Turner, “ACE2 Cell Biology, Regulation, and Physiological Functions.” 

[3] Du et al., “The Spike Protein of SARS-CoV — a Target for Vaccine and Therapeutic Development”; Rabi et al., “SARS-CoV-2 and Coronavirus Disease 2019.” 

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