CBD Opinion

Is CBD Antiviral?

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With CBD’s rapid rise to popularity, there hasn’t been much opportunity for science to catch up in understanding completely this popular cannabinoid. As a result, there are plenty of rumors and myths circulating about what CBD can and cannot do. One of the more popular ones involves CBD’s reported antiviral properties. So, does CBD really help kill viruses? The answers aren’t as clear-cut as most people would like.


What Research is Available?

Because of the wide range of popular claims about CBD and it’s effectiveness in treating various viruses, one team of researchers decided to comb through both published scientific studies and internet articles to determine exactly what was out there. They found that there were only three major scientific studies published about the use of CBD in treating viruses. Three were 25 websites making claims about CBD as an effective treatment. [1]

That study was published back in 2020, before any research could be done into CBD’s reported effects on COVID-19. Another study was recently conducted specifically to address the possibility of CBD being used to kill the COVID-19 virus or prevent its spread. [2]


What Do We Know For Sure?

Unfortunately, the picture only gets murkier from there. There isn’t a whole lot that science is certain of, in regards to CBD as an antiviral, but the research does show some promise.

The first team of researchers looked into the available three studies that they could find. One dealt with treating hepatitis C. Another study looked into CBD and Kaposi sarcoma. The final study investigated CBD’s use in treating a virus-induced form of multiple sclerosis in mice. None of the studies were particularly conclusive, though they did suggest that CBD may have antiviral properties. [1]

None of the claims that the researchers found on internet were supported by any kind of robust science. There were multiple claims from people stating that CBD was effective, so that may suggest that something is legitimately happening, but the science to back it up simply isn’t there yet. [1]

Finally, in the COVID-19 study, the researchers found that CBDA, the acid form of CBD that exists in cannabis plants before the heat-induced decarboxylation, does in-fact prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from infecting healthy cells. Now, that study was conducted with large concentrations of CBDA, and CBDA is not the form of CBD that people typically consume. That said, there is promise that CBD, at least in some form, can help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. [2]

Is CBD antiviral? The answer is still a solid maybe. Science hasn’t done enough research into CBD or its relationship with different viral strains to know for sure. Only time and in-depth scientific researches on this subject will tell.



[1] Mabou Tagne A. et al. Cannabidiol for Viral Diseases: Hype or Hope?. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020;5(2):121-131. doi:10.1089/can.2019.0060 [Journal impact factor = 4.786] [Times cited = 11]


[2] van Breemen R.B. et al. Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants. J Nat Prod. (2022) doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.1c00946 [Journal impact factor = 4.62] [Times cited = 18]


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