Terpenes and Cannabidiol Show Activity against Human Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are enveloped, nonsegmented positive-strand RNA viruses of the family Coronaviridae that have a wide spectrum of illness in humans causing respiratory problems. To date, seven coronaviruses have been identified. The coronavirus outbreak has led to the development of new antivirals which can help in treating COVID19. Recently the phytochemicals such as terpenes and cannabidiol are used as potential antiviral agents against the coronavirus. Terpenes are natural volatile compounds extracted from plants that contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. On the other hand, Cannabidiol is an extract from the cannabis plant which has a good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. Terpenes and cannabidiol are shown to have antiviral effects against the HCoV. The activity of the new terpene-based formulation NT-VRL-1 against Human Coronavirus strain EE29 was evaluated. A study was carried out to detect the preventive antiviral effect of terpenes and the cannabidiol against HCoV-E229 in human lung fibroblasts. The objective of the study was to evaluate the antiviral effect NT-VRL-1 Terpene formulation enhanced with or without CBDs against HCoV-E229 in human lung fibroblast in vitro.

The therapeutic activity was evaluated in terms of the cytopathic effect involving human lung fibroblasts in which the mitochondrial activity of the cells was examined. The tested formulation showed the antiviral effect when pre-incubated with host cells prior to virus exposure.

The NT-VRL-1 formulation contains 30 natural terpenes against HCoV-E229 that are found in cannabis as well as other plants. It may help in controlling the CSS(Cytokine Storm Syndrome) and ARDS(Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) associated with COVID19. Preventative treatment for lungs administered via inhalation would be the ideal route for its potential therapeutic solution.

The formulation of NT-VRL-1 with CBD resulted in an antiviral effect better than positive controls of Pyrazofurin and Glycyrrhizin. This was the first report of antiviral effects of terpenes and CBD against coronavirus. 

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Ref Link: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.01.433501v1