We are pleased to announce our latest paper published on Science Advances as a First Release Paper: Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication through Induction of the Host ER Stress and Innate Immune Responses.
During the pandemic, we pivoted to determining whether we could identify therapeutics to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 together with a large team of interdisciplinary researchers. In our study, we show that cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis plants, can block replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. We demonstrate this in three key ways.First, we show that CBD can stop SARS-CoV-2 replication in cells in a dish, and that CBD acts up to 15 hours after infection, suggesting it might be effective even at early times after viruses enter cells. Second, we show that pretreatment with CBD lowers the amount of virus found in the lungs and nasal passages of mice exposed to SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that CBD has the potential to work in other mammals such as humans to prevent an infection. Finally, we show that the incidence of positive COVID tests for patients who have been taking FDA-approved, medically prescribed CBD for the treatment of epilepsy is lower than that of comparable patients who were not currently taking CBD. This suggests that CBD has the potential to prevent infections such as breakthrough infections, perhaps one of its most useful applications.