Can CBD oil help to prevent or fight the Coronavirus in you?


cbd in corona virus sars mers in anti-viral influenza


The headlines are frightening from Wuhan, China.


Guangzhou, a city of 15 million inhabitants, had just been imprisoned.


Can you imagine New York being locked up and quarantined?


Okay … so maybe this isn’t just another common cold virus.

What about CBD?

We have seen reports that CBD has both antibacterial and antiviral effects.

This is definitely the time to do in-depth research on this  .

The reason for the push was a curious thing that we have noticed in the past 2 months.


My husband is taking 300mg of CBD per day (study shows maximum dose for neurogenesis)  .


She avoided about 3-4 different colds and flu cases that saddled the rest of the family for a few months.


We were crammed into a hotel room during the winter break and she had none of it!


Occasionally a few coughing fits or a little feeling like she was fighting something, but nothing close to what the other 3 family members had.


Was this just an event or anecdotal?


If you’ve read any of our reviews on CBD and Anxiety or CBD and Perimenopausal Symptoms, you know we’re not messing with anecdotes.


What does the research say for CBD and viral infections such as coronavirus or flu?


We cover the following topics:

  • How Viruses Like Coronavirus Infect Us and Cause Disease – A Quick Introduction
  • CBD’s effect on our immune response to coronavirus and others
  • Can CBD help with the coronavirus?
  • CBD’s effect on the HIV aspect of coronavirus (ie the new Gilead medication)
  • CBD and the ACE2 receptor aspect of coronavirus
  • Other antiviral supplements with NIH research support them


First, a virus acts as a small piece of genetic machinery. Not really alive because it needs a host cell to make more of it.


Once it accesses it, it uses chemical keys on the outside of the shell to access our cells.


It then hijacks our cellular machines to make copies of them that are released into our body to continue the process.


You can see how this is quickly getting out of hand and flooding our bodies.


That is a very simplified explanation, but suffices  .


There are really three stages to look at from our point of view (the attacker):

  • Access to our body and our cell
  • Binding to the cell
  • Replication of more viruses
  • Release


Some interesting comments.


Ever wondered why viruses generally seem to swell in winter?


The “shell” of the virus becomes stronger with temperature drops:

At winter temperatures, the outer layer or envelope of the virus hardens into a rubbery gel that can protect the virus as it passes from person to person, the researchers found.


This protective jacket disappears in the warmer summer seasons making viral chances of survival more difficult!


And yes … we are all inside in closed places in winter, which doesn’t help.


The rate of replication and our immune response to it are critical to viral infections and their potential danger.


As researchers from the deadly flu pandemic of 1918 discovered, our overactive response was partly due to:

But in some cases, an infection can cause a reaction so destructive that it can be fatal. Scientists call this a cytokine storm, because of the violent way in which immune cells respond to a virus.


Cytokines are members of our immune system response .




Let’s go there now, because the overreaction of our immune system can be critical why a cold (also a type of coronavirus) disappears while the new one can kill coronavirus.

Our Immune System’s Response To Viruses Such As Coronavirus And Flu

Our immune system is way too complicated to get in here, but we can dance around the edges that are specific to viral infections.


As we saw above, what has killed many people with viral infections is not the virus itself, but the response of our own immune system.


There are first steps the body will take against infections, such as an increase in body temperature or a drop in tryptophan.


Increase the temperature slows viral replication and affects our immune response


We covered the tryptophan compound in our article on  tryptophan, inflammation, and anxiety or depression,   because a drop there also drops our serotonin.


This is partly why your mood can drop when you are sick.


The body tries to starve the protein that a virus or bacteria needs to make more of itself.


Furthermore, you have the full power of the immune system response.


Part of this is innate or built into the system. The other part is adaptive, which the body learns from experiences with previous viral interactions.


That is the basis for vaccines.


There are a number of important players to watch without getting too complicated:

  • T cells – generals of the immune system
  • Macrophages – literally eat the viruses and must be excreted (for example, when blowing your nose)
  • NK cells – natural killer cells


The basic approach to the immune system is to detect infected cells and initiate cell death (called apoptosis).


Interestingly, this process is under the direction and control of the endocannabinoid system where CBD works!


We all have this system and it is tasked with balancing other important systems:

  • Endocrine system – hormones
  • Nervous system – neurotransmitters
  • Immune system – cytokines, macrophages, T cells


So right in the wheelhouse of viral response.


There is much evidence from in vivo and in vitro models that cannabinoids and their receptors affect immune system, viral pathogenesis and viral replication.


Homeostasis is key there with immune response.


That’s just a nice word for balance.


We want an increased response to bending early in the process, while avoiding so much additional damage and response that we are killed along with the virus.


Viral replication rates are crucial here.


Some viruses like the H5N1 virus have very high replication rates and our body panics.


Scorched earth.


Let’s take a look at CBD directly with an addendum on THC (very different effects).

What Does CBD Do For The Immune Response

CBD has shown powerful effects to calm the immune response, but is that the wrong direction with viral infections?


Here’s the fascinating piece… CBD’s effects seem to change depending on the status of the system.


Most research looks at situations where the immune response is too high:


What about the opposite… situations where the immune system has to boot but doesn’t get out of hand?


After spending a few 1000 hours in NIH research and writing a few 100 thousand words on the subject, an interesting facet of CBD appears.


The effect is not one way.


Take cancer, for example:

  • Healthy cell with low inflammation – CBD does not affect inflammation levels
  • Healthy cell with high inflammation – CBD reduces inflammation
  • Cancer cells – CBD INCREASES inflammation


Read that carefully, because it is nothing short of revolutionary.


Most fabrics will push infinitely in one direction.


Benzos (for GABA – see  CBD vs Benzos  ) or SSRIs for serotonin (see  CBD vs SSRIs  ) are perfect examples.


With a higher dose, they keep increasing levels… to a point where it can be dangerous.


Therefore, CBD does not cause sedation / overdose with GABA or serotonin syndrome with serotonin.


CBD acts as a contraint on various systems under endocannabinoid system regulation.


On both the low and high side.


THC is anders.


THC pushes in one direction on the CB1 receptor (our primary endocannabinoid receptor).


Regarding viral infection, the study is not positive for THC, which is immunosuppressive regardless of the system’s needs:

For HSV-2, HIV-1, KSHV, influenza and VSV viral replication, or surrogate measures of infection, were found to be significantly increased with cannabinoid treatment.


This is not good and THC should be avoided during viral infection.


They tested THC in those situations that were the dominant “cannabinoid” until the last few years.


What about CBD and immune response to viruses?


In general, CBD calms the immune response during periods of inflammation.


Keep in mind that inflammation is only code for an increased immune response we want at the onset of viral infections.


This is why we see its effects on the ‘damage’ side of infection:

Together, our findings highlight the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD in this viral MS model.


There are many studies from sepsis to stroke where CBD can calm the immune response to damage and improve function.


An example relevant here is a study of lung function after exposure to infection in mice:

The results show that CBD increases total lung resistance and elasticity, leukocyte migration in the lungs, myeloperoxidase activity in lung tissue, protein concentration and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF and IL-6) and chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-) decreased. 2) in the supernatant of the bronchoalveolar lavage.


If you looked at the Chinese doctor who had coronavirus describe how it felt, there was chest tightening, lack of oxygen (he used oxygen breathing equipment), etc.


This is the immune system that fills the lungs with immune agents to a point where it can kill us before the virus does  .


It is auto-immune with a bang!


Let’s research CBD directly with various viruses to make sure it doesn’t suppress our immune response when we really need it.

Can CBD Help With Viruses Like Coronavirus And Flu

Perhaps the real benefit of CBD is the high-quality immune response as we’ve seen in MS:

In addition, CBD administration at the time of viral infection has long-lasting effects, improving motor deficits in the chronic phase of the disease in combination with reduced microglial activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine production.


That said, there are other important points of effect.


Remember how the immune system uses cell death to get rid of infected cells? It is called apoptosis.


CBD has a direct effect there (as with cancer cells):

Although CBD induced dose-dependent apoptosis in both cell types, at 0.25 to 1.0 µM, CBD induced significantly more cell death in the virus-infected HMVECs than in the post-infected HMVECs.


This is important. When they added CBD, there was an increase in cell death for virally infected cells (but not healthy cells).


This “selective” effect is crucial when the immune system is on a warpath.


As they say:

These dose-response data indicate that endothelial cells infected with KSHV are more sensitive to CBD-induced apoptosis than spuriously infected endothelium and suggest that CBD at specific concentrations may preferentially kill Kaposi’s sarcoma tumor cells over normal endothelium.


Again, they used a virus to cause damage to the cells.


What about viral replication?


The only research we could find was for viral hepatitis:

CBD inhibited HCV replication by 86.4% at a single concentration of 10 μM with EC50 of 3.163 μM in a dose response assay.


What about interferon, one of the drugs that show some promise against coronavirus.


We know well from decades of research into HIV. Interestingly, HIV drugs show some potential against the coronavirus.


Why is interferon important?

Virally infected cells produce and release small proteins called interferons, which play a role in immune protection against viruses. Interferons prevent virus replication by directly interfering with their ability to replicate within an infected cell.


Studies of chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases have shown that CBD can suppress interferon.


Do the “biphasic” double effects also apply here when interferon is needed (such as with a viral infection)?


Another study looked at HIV (another type of viral infection): 

THC (but not CBD!) Suppressed the secretion of IFN-α by pDC from both healthy and HIV + donors, arguing that while THC may affect antiviral responses, it may also protect against neuro-inflammation associated with long-term HIV -infection.


IFN stands for interferon and CBD had a very different effect there with a viral infection (in this case HIV).


Again, THC is not suitable for viral infections such as coronavirus or flu that are fast, acute and explosive in the body.


CBD did not suppress key immune responses (IFN).


Again, this is the endocannabinoid system tasked with straightening the vessel over the immune system.


There is a time and place for interferon to nail.


We can’t say it better than researchers did here:

Third, our previous study showed that CBD inhibited or improved IL-2 and IFN-γ production in response to optimal or suboptimal T cell activation, respectively, [23] demonstrating that cellular activation dictates the CBD response.


IL-2 is one of those cytokines used by the immune system to fight infection.


It is the role:

IL-2 is part of the body’s natural response to microbial infections and distinguishes between foreign (“non-self”) and “self”.


Let’s tie those pieces together.


T cells are the generals of our immune system that basically scan for invaders (virus) and collect the troops.


As you read above, CBD will boost two of the T-cell’s powerful weapons (interferon and IL2) WHEN the T-cell function CONNECTS.


When T cell activity is too strong, it will actually suppress that activity (which is the key to autoimmune and inflammatory states).


Levels of T cells in the lungs are important for the new coronaviruses:

Interestingly, the acute phase of SARS in humans is associated with a severe reduction in the number of T cells in the blood.


Do you see why we do so much on CBD?


This is our immune system, a ridiculously complicated patchwork quilt made over hundreds of millions of years as an artifact of an arms race against a sea of ​​enemies.


  • Autoimmune medications suppress immune function
  • Antiviral medications boost immune function


None of them will respond according to the needs of the system.


That’s why side effects can be so nasty in both extreme cases.


Again, the effect of THC is one way:

Treatment of mice with A9-THC resulted in persistent inhibition of IL-2 production even 7 days after cannabinoid treatment.


IL2 is literally part of the system that detects the presence of a virus … a friend of an enemy.


Probably the best list we’ve seen of both CBD’s immune suppression (in inflammatory states) or immune enhancement (in infection states) can be found here:


Towards the end is a chart of immune enhancing studies.


It’s an impressive review (we’re jealous).


We reported how T cells decreased in the acute phase of SARS (a similar type of coronavirus).


This is a fascinating result that directly points to the lethality of these viruses.


Let’s go there now.

CBD And The HIV Aspect Of Coronavirus

HIV is a fascinating (albeit heartbreaking) type of virus because it specifically targets the generals of our immune response… T cells!


Wolf in sheep’s clothes.


They disarm the cell designed to protect against them.


There is an interesting facet with the new breed of coronaviruses (SARS, MERS, Wuhan Coronavirus).


Research on the SARS virus showed significant “suicide” (top-down apoptosis) or decrease in T cells during the critical period of the disease.

The effector phase of an immune response is followed by a strong contraction of the number of antigen specific T cells, with 90-95% of the virus specific T cells undergoing apoptosis.


This is strange because T cells should increase without committing cellular suicide.


This reveals how HIV drugs may have the promise to work with the coronavirus.


Researchers have even identified the shared mechanism:

This study points to a similar mode of action for the two viral proteins, suggesting that an antiviral strategy targeting the viral induced membrane fusion step can be inherited from HIV-1 to SARS-CoV.


In short, they say that the new strains of cororavirus share some similar pathways to HIV.


Whether this is “developed” is beyond our paygrade, but the location of Wuhan and the Level 4 lab in China is curious at best.


Meanwhile, the link between HIV proteins and the new coronavirus is equally present:

We found 4 insertions in the spike glycoprotein (S) that are unique to the 2019 nCoV and are not present in other coronaviruses. Importantly, amino acid residues in all 4 inserts have identity or similarity to those in the HIV1 gp120 or HIV-1 Gag.


Those drugs revolve around blocking an enzyme called protease that viruses have to replicate.


Seeds and roots are rich in those naturally (as a natural defense).


Chickpeas, soybeans, seeds, etc.


The HIV drug that China is currently researching is Remdesiver, an antiviral developed by Gilead for ebola and other viruses.


The mechanism is to act as adenosine, which confuses the virus replication process.


Are there other ways to stimulate this system naturally, but without the side effects?

CBD increases adenosine levels in the brain by reducing the reuptake of adenosine. Increased adenosine is associated with neuroprotection and decreased inflammation after brain trauma.


Another study pointed this way for CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects:

These studies demonstrate that CBD has the ability to enhance adenosine signaling through inhibition of uptake and provides a non-cannabinoid receptor mechanism through which CBD can reduce inflammation.


Again, adenosine interferes with the replication capacity of the virus!

Coronavirus And The ACE2 Receptor Link

An interesting piece of information comes from research on coronavirus.


Let’s take a short walk.


We have a system that controls tightening and loosening of our cardiovascular system.


The tightening agent is called angiotensin  . It comes in two flavors and one has been popularized with blood pressure medications.


  • ACE2-remmers (angiotensineconversie- enzymblokkers )
  • ARB’s (Angiotensin Receptor Blockers)


The virulence or ability of the COVID19 coronavirus to cause death appears to be related to the number of angiotensin receptors and this varies by person and by race or ancestry.


Asians have some of the highest numbers of receptors.


There is an interesting graph here:

coronavirus- in ace2-receptorniveaus by flush



Why would this matter?


These receptors are mainly found in the heart and lungs (after all, they are cardiovascular in nature).


The lungs are naturally exposed to the coronavirus (and any external pathogen) and a unique ability of this particular virus is that it can attach more easily to the angiotensin receptors.


This then leads to the result of the viral pneumonia that causes the coronavirus to pass from a cold to a deadly disease.


It would be interesting to see if ARBs (which block the receptors) have a protective effect on the coronavirus, but that’s for the researchers to find out.


Basically, the virus has an easy way of (ACE2 receptors) and the immune system floods this area with cytokines.


This fills the lungs with the equivalent of snot or mucus (in fact, our immune agents write large) and we literally drown in our own immune response.


One of the side effects of CBD is lower blood pressure, but we don’t have specific research on CBD and angiotensin receptors.


What we do find in research is how CBD calms the hyperactivation of the immune response in the lungs.


We saw the effects on mice that got a lung infection:

The results show that CBD increases total lung resistance and elasticity, leukocyte migration in the lungs, myeloperoxidase activity in lung tissue, protein concentration and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF and IL-6) and chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-) decreased. 2) in the supernatant of the bronchoalveolar lavage.


That’s a mouthful, but in fact, CBD soothed the inflammatory immune response and improved lung function.


The leukocyte piece is important  .


This is the immune response of white blood cells, which signals a cascade of other responders to contract and causes inflammation that makes the cells of the lung “leak”.


ACE2 receptors can act as easy access for the coronavirus to cause damage and cause a storm in our lungs.


The effect of CBD seems to be a calming effect from that storm.


Remember… it is generally not the virus that kills us, but the scorched response of our immune system.


Check out  CBD and inflammation  or  CBD and neuro-  inflammation    (both with a tendency towards anxiety research) for deeper dives in these trails.


CBD is really powerful on that last stretch that results from the hyper-activation of our immune system.


Always consult a doctor or naturopath with a supplement!

The information provided here is not intended to treat a disease or to replace   professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a qualified health care professional.



Your Cart