Marijuana legalization proponents, and medical professionals, have long known that the plant’s chemical compounds are highly effective at helping treating a variety of health issues. But there’s a possibility it could also help combat the coronavirus:

Cannabis compounds prevented the virus that causes Covid-19 from penetrating healthy human cells, according to a laboratory study published in the Journal of Nature Products.

The two compounds commonly found in hemp — called cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA — were identified during a chemical screening effort as having potential to combat coronavirus, researchers from Oregon State University said. In the study, they bound to spike proteins found on the virus and blocked a step the pathogen uses to infect people.

And that might mean a possible avenue for both prevention and treatment:

“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” said Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” he said in a statement.

The slow end to the drug war, particularly on marijuana, has opened new doors for medical research. It’s long since time for the federal government to end prohibition (unlikely with life-long drug warrior Joe Biden in office). But here’s to more states using federalism to roll back the anti-science, anti-health prohibitionist cause.