March 2022

Cannabinoids Getting COVID-19 Attention

Many recent headlines are claiming that cannabinoids, including cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol (CBD), can help treat and prevent COVID-19 infection. Patients might ask you about this. Here’s what you should know.

Most of this recent buzz is based on one in vitro study. The study found that cannabigerolic acid and another cannabinoid called cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, preventing SARS-CoV-2 from infecting human cells. While interesting, the available clinical data don’t support the big headlines that hemp, CBD, and cannabis might treat or prevent COVID-19. In fact, a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 found no difference in progression to severe disease between those receiving CBD and those receiving placebo. Additionally, those treated with CBD didn’t recover any faster than those treated with placebo. But this study hasn’t gotten much airtime.

Confusion around what does and doesn’t work for COVID-19 continues. The FTC recently issued warnings to many manufacturers promoting their various products for treating and preventing COVID-19. Tell patients that for now, any claims that hemp, CBD, or cannabis can treat or prevent COVID-19 don’t have strong scientific evidence to support them.

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