Cannabidiol as a potential COVID-19 treatment

The Rosner Lab is pleased to announce our latest finding on bioRxiv (currently in peer-review): Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response. We demonstrate that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive product of the cannabis plant, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 viral replication. CBD is a FDA-approved drug for an epilepsy disorder and is also used by millions of Americans as an alternative treatment for anxiety and other health conditions.

Key findings:

  • CBD acts after viral entry to block viral replication as demonstrated by loss of the viral spike protein and loss of viral RNA.
  • CBD induces expression of interferon genes involved in the host innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 but inhibits viral-induced cytokine expression that could lead to a deleterious cytokine storm.
  • CBD inhibits replication of at least one other coronavirus, MHV, raising the possibility that it may inhibit other pathogenic human coronaviruses that could arise in the future.
  • A metabolite of CBD, 7-OH-CBD, is an effective inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 at a concentration comparable to that in human plasma after patients took an FDA-approved CBD oral solution.
  • Analysis of a cohort of patients taking FDA-approved CBD showed up to a 10-fold decreased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to a matched set of control patients.


We do not recommend self-administration of CBD. We also cannot recommend any particular products. We advocate a clinical trial(s) to determine CBD’s effect in human patients. We also advocate a COVID-19 vaccine when one is eligible/doses are available.


3 thoughts on “Cannabidiol as a potential COVID-19 treatment

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: