Could CBD help guard against COVID-19 infection?

It might seem quite remarkable to suggest that CBD could play a role in preventing people from becoming infected with COVID-19 – and yet, this is precisely what has emerged from a lab study into the supplement.

As reported by the Daily Mail and elsewhere, a team of University of Chicago researchers found that CBD had the capability to neutralise the virus and prevent its multiplication.


The scientists were careful to warn that CBD’s ‘real-world’ effectiveness against the coronavirus was not guaranteed, as they warned against people treating it as an alternative to measures such as mask-wearing and vaccination.


Nonetheless, the news will be of interest to many of those considering the creation of a cannabis business.

What did the study involve?

Part of the reason for the scientists’ caution so far about drawing conclusions on CBD’s effectiveness against COVID-19 infection, is the fact that the study was only done in mice and in human lung cells. Indeed, the next step the researchers are calling for is human clinical trials further investigating the impact cannabidiol may have when used in relation to the virus.


Still, the results of this particular study were insightful – and surprising. The research entailed human lung cells being exposed to CBD for two hours before COVID-19 – and it was discovered that this greatly inhibited the virus’s ability to replicate for as long as six hours.


These findings were then replicated in two other types of human cell. The team tested the original version of the virus that emerged in Wuhan, in addition to the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants.


“These results provide major support for a clinical trial in humans”

The study’s lead author, Professor Marsha Rosner, said the outcome was completely unexpected, explaining: “We just wanted to know if CBD would affect the immune system.”


She continued: “No one in their right mind would have ever thought that it blocked viral replication, but that’s what it did.”


The original intention of the researchers, who published their findings in the journal Science Advances, was to investigate whether people recovering from COVID-19 infection could benefit from CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.


Following the surprising discovery, tests on mice found that pre-treating the rodents with CBD a week before exposure to COVID-19 had the effect of suppressing infection in the animals’ lungs and nasal passages.

In the words of Professor Rosner: “These results provide major support for a clinical trial of CBD in humans.”

She added, however, that “what we don’t want is people just running out and thinking, ‘I can take CBD, and then I don’t have to get vaccinated or I don’t have to be masked’. This is what we really don’t want to see.”

But she did say that if CBD proved effective against COVID-19 in humans, she would envision it forming part of a prophylactic treatment, that could be taken by someone who had been exposed to the virus to try to reduce their chances of falling ill.


That, in itself, would be an exciting development to see for those contemplating the creation of a cannabis business. For assistance in achieving exactly that, please do not hesitate to contact Hempire today, to begin taking advantage of our highly regarded business services.