If you’ve seen the news about an exciting study on cannabidiol (CBD) and its potentially COVID-busting benefits, you might be tempted to stock up on CBD gummies.

But can taking CBD every day actually keep COVID away? Here’s what the study itself does — and doesn’t — say about CBD’s benefits.

gloved hand placing CBD in beaker of green liquidShare on Pinterest
Image by Yaroslav Danylchenko, and Edited by Alexis Lira

In early 2022, a team of researchers published findings showing that an FDA-approved form of CBD helps block replication of several variants of SARS-CoV-2 (aka, the 2019 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19) in lab tests on human lung cells and mice.

The findings shared that it can’t keep the virus from getting into the cell, but instead keeps the virus from reproducing itself, which can stop the COVID-19 infection in its tracks. Researchers connected this info to CBD’s impact on your body’s stress and immune responses.

The info aligns with findings from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), which confirms that real patients taking this form of CBD had fewer positive COVID-19 tests. The study also explored the possibility that any cannabis components (like THC and other compounds) might impact the 2019 coronavirus, but CBD was the only star of the show.

While these findings are promising, there are some important callouts about the study’s limitations and what it means for the immediate future.

  • This research was performed on human cells and animals, not on humans.
  • It used an FDA-approved, medical-grade form of CBD, not the kind you can get at your local smoke shop.
  • Researchers are not recommending that people use over-the-counter CBD based on these findings.
  • This study provides a strong case to continue research into the use of CBD to fight early COVID-19 infection, but it doesn’t prove that it will work in real humans.