COVID-19 causes respiratory infections with symptoms such as cough, fever and in more severe cases breathing problems.

  • What is COVID-19?
  • COVID-19 & cannabinoids
  • Text references, literature discussion
    & clinical trials

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can lead to disease in animals or humans. It is known that respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) can be caused by several coronaviruses in humans.1

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious spreading disease originating from Wuhan, China in December 2019 which is currently having a huge impact on health and economy worldwide.2,3 The pathogen of the disease, SARS coronavirus 2 virus (SARS-CoV-2), is a newly discovered coronavirus strain that can make people sick and cause various symptoms in the body.

People may experience symptoms such as fever, dry cough, tiredness, and some people may possess different symptoms, including aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, headache, loss of smell and taste, and shortness of breath. Usually, these symptoms are not severe, and people develop them gradually, whereas it is possible that some individuals get the disease without showing any symptoms. Most patients (about 80%) beat the disease without any special treatment. Difficulty in breathing and the risk of getting seriously sick was shown in around one out of every six people. Older people and those who have other diseases are at higher risk to become more ill compared to people without any underlying medical conditions.1,2

People can get infected with the virus if they are in contact with already infected people. The disease can be transmitted to another healthy person through small droplets from the nose or mouth of an infected person who is coughing or exhaling. It is also possible that the infectious disease can be transmitted by touching various surfaces and objects. Then the virus enters the body and reaches the cells which can lead to the infection.1,2

  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Endocannabinoids


Cannabinoid Receptors

Plant Cannabinoids

  • Terpenes
  • Strains
  • Enzymes
  • Metabolites



Synthesizing & Degrading Enzymes


The connection between COVID-19
& cannabinoids

Stencil.cannasen (1) (1)

To this date, it is not known whether cannabinoids such as CBD and THC have therapeutic potential in the case of COVID-19. It is advised to be cautious when using cannabis compounds when suffering from COVID-19, and only do so after consulting your doctor.2

Note: If you have any further information relevant to the connection between COVID-19 and cannabinoids, or find any of the information inaccurate, outdated or incomplete please contact us here.

Text references, literature discussion
& clinical trials

  • Text references
  • Literature discussion
  • Clinical trials
Text references
  1. World Health Organization. Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19). at <>
  2. GH Medical. COVID-19. at <>
  3. Park, W. B., Kwon, N. J., Choi, S. J., Kang, C. K., Choe, P. G., Kim, J. Y., Yun, J., Lee, G. W., Seong, M. W., Kim, N. J., Seo, J. S. & Oh, M. D. Virus isolation from the first patient with SARS-CoV-2 in Korea. J. Korean Med. Sci. 35, 10–14 (2020).
  4. Wang, B., Kovalchuk, A., Li, D., Ilnytskyy, Y. & Kovalchuk, I. In Search of Preventative Strategies : Novel Anti- Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues. Prepr. (Not Peer Rev. 0, 1–12 (2020).
  5. Hill, K. P. Cannabinoids and the Coronavirus. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 5, 118–120 (2020).

Angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) is important for mediating SARS-CoV-2 entry into the body. Disease susceptibility may possibly be reduced via modulation of ACE2 receptor expression in lung tissue, oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes, and the gastrointestinal tract. It has been suggested that CBD plays a role in modulating gene expression and inflammation as well as exhibiting anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities.4

A scientific article by Canadian research groups (pre-prints available, before peer-review), showed that ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels are modulated by 13 high CBD C. Sativa extracts using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues. It was also found that the expression of TMPRSS2, a serine protease needed for the virus entry into the body can be decreased by some C. Sativa extract. Further studies focusing on the effect of CBD on COVID-19 are needed to ensure its usefulness as adjunctive therapy for COVID-19.4

It was observed that CBD and THC may impact viral infections beneficially though evidence on this topic is limited. The production of cytokines becomes excessive due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, leading to hyperinflammation. Cannabinoids may possibly be used as a part of a treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other medications that could decrease the production of cytokines. However, due to possible negative effects, it is important to talk to your doctor before supplementing NSAIDs and cannabinoids to a COVID-19 treatment.5

Clinical trials

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