Effects of CBD on Patients With COVID-19

A newly published study on the effects of CBD on patients with COVID-19 shows that CBD does not help with mild and moderate cases of COVID-19.

While some promising results have emerged in preclinical studies on the effects of CBD on severe cases of COVID-19-like conditions, the clinical study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research shows no potential when it comes to treating mild and moderate symptoms of the disease.

An animal model study has shown that CBD may positively impact acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is one of the most dangerous symptoms occurring in patients with COVID-19, so scientists hope that CBD could prevent cytokine storm, the leading cause of death in severe cases of the disease.

As previously reported, the dose of up to 300 mg daily has been used in Klagenfurt Clinic for three weeks with patients leaving the hospital earlier than the control group.

However, the new findings show no results with the daily dose of 300 mg CBD. The randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted between July 7 and October 16, 2020, on patients with mild and moderate COVID-19 in Ribeira˜o Preto, Brazil.

The patients were recruited in a public-affiliated emergency room of Ribeira˜o Preto County and the Emergency Care Unit or Ribeira˜o Preto Medical School University Hospital. The mild form of the disease included patients with nonsevere symptomatic symptoms but without clinical manifestations of pneumonia. The moderate form included patients with fever, cough, secretion production, and other respiratory or nonspecific symptoms, but without severe pneumonia manifestation.

Patients in this study received 300 mg of CBD or placebo added to standard symptomatic care over 14 days. A total of 321 patients were recruited and assessed for eligibility, and 105 were randomly allocated either in a CBD (49) or a placebo (42) group. The average age in the CBD group was 38.7, and the average age in the placebo group was 40.9. There were 33 females and 16 males in the CBD group and 27 females and 15 males in the placebo group. Ninety-one participants were included in the analysis of efficacy. The primary outcome was assessed on days 14, 21, and 28 after enrollment.

The formulation given to the patients was oral CBD (99.6% purity) dissolved in MCT oil (150 mg/mL concentration).

As a result, there were no baseline between-group differences regarding disease severity and median time to symptom resolution (12 days in the CBD group, nine days in the placebo group). Although several studies previously demonstrated that CBD can block Interleukin 6 (IL-6) in inflammatory diseases, the IL-6 plasma levels were not significantly lower in the CBD group. By day 28, 83.3% in the CBD group and 90.2% in the placebo group had resolved symptoms.

There were no between-group differences on secondary measures. CBD was well tolerated, producing mostly mild and transient side effects. The noted side effects were somnolence, fatigue, changes in appetite, lethargy, nausea, diarrhea, and fever, with no significant differences between CBD and placebo treatment groups.

The study was led by Dr. José Alexandre de Souza Crippa from the University of São Paulo. His separate research on 214 physicians, nurses, and physical therapists working with COVID-19 patients has found that CBD could help with anxiety, depression, and emotional exhaustion.

In addition to promoting public knowledge about CBD and other cannabinoids, at Ilesol Pharmaceuticals, we strongly believe in the importance of providing scientific evidence prior to claiming any possible health benefits, and we, therefore, do not advise our customers or readers of our blog to use any product in the treatment of any illness before it has been approved by the international drug regulatory agencies.

Reviewed by Sasha Bajilo, founder of ILESOL Pharmaceuticals, an industrial scale producer of CBD products and formulations. Expert on Hemp/Cannabis policy, member of the Croatian Ministry of Health regulatory commission for medical cannabis.