Is cannabidiol efficient in opposition to COVID-19?

The coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19), which is attributable to an infection with the extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has induced over 6.4 million deaths thus far.

A brand new Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal examine discusses the utility of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating the inflammatory symptoms of COVID-19. This remedy method might assist arrest or cut back the development of COVID-19, thereby doubtlessly reducing its severity and mortality price.

Study: Cannabidiol As a Treatment for COVID-19 Symptoms? A Critical Review. Image Credit: r.classen /

Examine: Cannabidiol As a Treatment for COVID-19 Symptoms? A Critical Review. Picture Credit score: r.classen /


COVID-19 is related to a large spectrum of shows from delicate to life-threatening illness. The hyper-inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 is considered liable for extreme signs that contain a number of organ programs.

A variety of medicine has been evaluated for his or her capacity to mitigate COVID-19 severity. These consists of dexamethasone, a robust corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive exercise; remdesivir, a nucleoside analog that inhibits viral replication; hydrochloroquine, an immunomodulatory antimalarial drug, convalescent plasma containing particular antibodies to the virus, in addition to SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies.

Of those, solely dexamethasone has proven an unequivocal enchancment within the outcomes of a specified affected person group. Notably, this steroid has not been evaluated for its utility in treating early COVID-19.

In the meantime, remdesivir is helpful just for hospitalized sufferers, with a comparatively lengthy remedy course that requires parenteral administration. Furthermore, immunomodulators might have systemic results.

Monoclonal antibodies are at present permitted to be used in sufferers with early illness who’re at excessive threat for extreme COVID-19.

Paxlovid and molnupiravir have been given emergency use authorization (EUA) for  the remedy of high-risk COVID-19-positive sufferers. These brokers are appropriate just for these with early signs who are usually not receiving another remedy for extreme COVID-19.

The necessity for protected and efficient early interventions has prompted investigations into doubtlessly helpful medication for COVID-19. One in every of these is CBD, which acts on the endocannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors within the mind, in addition to adenosine A2A receptors. These receptors are widespread within the human physique.

CBD acquired approval in 2018 as an orphan drug for the remedy of 1 type of epilepsy. Additionally it is identified to have immunosuppressive and anti inflammatory results because of the expression of CB2 receptors in immune cells within the intestine, lungs, and immune organs.

CBD in low doses might potentiate the intoxication attributable to different hashish metabolites, particularly tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC); nonetheless, it seems to counteract such results at excessive doses. Importantly, CBD isn’t identified to trigger dependence or dependancy.

Unintended effects of CBD embody sleepiness, fever, poor urge for food, irregular conduct, and euphoria. Additional analysis is required to find out the relevance of those unintended effects following persistent use.

The present assessment summarizes present data about CBD results on COVID-19-related irritation and respiratory signs from research revealed between September and December 2020.

Examine findings

Of the 9 papers eligible for inclusion within the examine, 5 have been in vivo research and three have been in vitro research utilizing human tissues. Not one of the animal fashions had COVID-19; nonetheless, they have been used to find out the impact of CBD on acute lung irritation or harm, bronchial asthma, and acute respiratory misery syndrome (ARDS).

CBD was reported to lower a number of inflammatory cytokines and cut back ARDS signs. Inflammatory infiltration of the lungs, in addition to decreased protein exudation, inflammatory cytokine ranges, and myeloperoxidase ranges, have been noticed in response to CBD. Bronchial asthma-related irritation was equally decreased.

Within the in vitro human tissue fashions, CBD remedy was related to a decrease expression of A2A receptors and decreased irritation. As in comparison with dexamethasone, CBD decreased inflammatory signaling induced by lipopolysaccharide, which is a potent bacterial inflammation-inducing antigen

A single human randomized medical trial (RCT) of CBD remedy in sufferers with delicate to average COVID-19 was additionally obtainable. To this finish, no important enchancment was reported for CBD as in comparison with controls for the prevention of extreme illness, decreased symptom length, decrease cytokine ranges, decreased lung injury, hospitalization, or mortality. Psychological signs have been additionally not totally different between teams.

A single open-label trial reported decreased burnout and emotional fatigue following remedy with CBD in frontline COVID-19 staff. Nonetheless, 10% of the examine individuals reported severe adversarial occasions, although all recovered utterly.

In a single current examine not included within the present assessment, researchers establish some indications of a replication-inhibitory impact of CBD on SARS-CoV-2 that’s mediated by the endoplasmic reticulum. Knowledge from the Nationwide COVID Cohort Collaborative database was cited, which confirmed decrease charges of optimistic COVID-19 check outcomes with CBD remedy.


Whereas present proof doesn’t help using CBD in COVID-19 remedy, there stays an pressing want for extra research to be carried out. These ought to discover totally different dosage ranges with CBD of a specified purity for prophylactic and therapeutic use, given the promising anti-inflammatory exercise noticed with this molecule in vitro.

Drug interactions additionally have to be explored, particularly as COVID-19 remedy at present includes using many anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory medication.

Its anti-inflammatory properties may be detrimental in suppressing the immune response, which could suppress the power to struggle off infections in order that the danger could be increased for viral and respiratory infections.”

Taken collectively, there’s insufficient proof to help or reject CBD in COVID-19 remedy.

Journal reference:
  • Holst, M. Nowak, D., & Hoch, E. (2022). Cannabidiol As a Therapy for COVID-19 Signs? A Essential Evaluation. Hashish and Cannabidiol Analysis. doi:10.1089/can.2021.0135.



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