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SIU scientists are researching cannabinoids and COVID

Hemp Photo
Capitol News Illinois photo by Peter Hancock
Cannabinoids are derived from hemp.

Preliminary research shows compounds found in hemp could help prevent COVID, by preventing it from entering cells.

Dr. Buck Hales, interim director of the Cannabis Science Center at SIU, said the study looked at using cannabinoids like CBD or CBG to see if they could bind to the spike protein of the virus and prevent it from infecting cells.

He said scientists at SIU are also researching cannabinoids and COVID, but they are looking to see if CBD or CBG can be used to help better prepare the body to deal with COVID by seeing how it interacts with the receptors in body that allow the virus to enter cells.

"Then that's the virus's route into the cell where it causes its infection. It starts to replicate and then it's the replication of the virus and the body's response to that replicating virus that makes people so sick," Hales explained.

Hales said all of the research is in the early stages but he and other scientists at the center are very optimistic about the recent findings.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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