How will OSU’s research on COVID-19 and CBD impact the industry?

by: Joelle Jones

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Recent research conducted by Oregon State University, which found hemp compounds could help prevent coronavirus, could have big implications for the expanding CBD market.

The OSU study, published Jan. 10, 2022, identified CBDa and CBGa as two compounds found in hemp which illustrate the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells.

While CBDistillery CEO Chase Terwilliger wasn’t surprised by OSU’s findings, he told KOIN 6 News he was excited to see more research on the potential benefits of hemp products.

“With cannabinoids in general, they’re just not researched that much,” Terwilliger said. “People have been using them since the beginning of time, but they haven’t been able to be studied because there’s still some legal gray areas, depending on where you are.”

As the CEO of one of the nation’s largest manufacturing operations in the hemp-derived CBD market, Terwilliger said research like the OSU study has the potential to help destigmatize cannabinoid use and further research and legalization efforts.

“It’ll push the agenda in some institutions to favor cannabinoid research, now that people are starting to understand the many benefits of the plant,” Terwilliger explained. “As we all know, COVID seems to affect older individuals and some of those older individuals have a stigma against the cannabis plant.”

He continued, “Over the years we’ve seen that stigma start to go away, especially in states like Oregon where recreational marijuana is on a national stage. This attention will help some of those older individuals understand that there are parts of the plant that will get you high and there’s also medicinal benefits.”

Even though CBDistillery carries CBDa and other CBD compounds mentioned in the OSU study, due to FDA guidelines, Terwilliger’s company and others in the industry aren’t allowed to use the research to promote their products.

“Because of the FDA, we cannot use this research for our benefit right now, which is completely fine,” Terwilliger added. “We can offer the product, but we can’t educate the consumer on the research that is being done.”

Despite the current limitations, Terwilliger told KOIN 6 News the OSU study and others like it will continue to encourage the nation to embrace the benefits of cannabinoids within the plant which could positively impact the health for large portions of the population.

“Everything that this study suggests, regarding how it can help lessen the COVID-19 infection rate is obviously huge for not only citizens in the US and around the world, but also for the CBD and cannabinoid industry,” Terwilliger explained. “What’s even bigger is that people are starting to look at CBD and other cannabinoids within the plant and see what benefits they can bring to the citizens in the US and the world.”

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