How does CBD interact with virus infections in your body? - Glow Bar London



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January 19, 2023 5 min read

How does CBD interact with virus infections in your body?

CBD contains powerful qualities that make it complex for bacteria and viruses to adapt. This blog discusseshow CBD interacts with virus infections in your body including an overview of CBD, types of viruses and bacteria CBD kills, and considerations of using CBD for virus treatment.

The cannabis plant has over140chemical compounds, though the most prevalent are Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These two compounds have gained immense traction over the past few years. THC is famous for its 'high' effects, whereas CBD is popular for its therapeuticand health benefits. CBD is utilised as an alternativetreatment for multiple health conditions, including pain, anxiety, stress, and nausea. Until 2018, it was impossible to research CBD since it did not get the government's approval. Hence, the findings on this compound are stillrelatively new.

An overview of CBD

CBDis one of the most prevalent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. It is majorly extracted from various parts of the hemp plant since it is rich in CBD and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike its famous cousin, THC, CBD is non-psychotropic. CBD has gained traction over the past few years due to its therapeutic and health benefits. Hegazy et al. (2019) commented that CBD contains numerous properties such as anti-oxidant, analgesic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Brave (2019) suggested that it tackles various medical conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, inflammation and pain. CBD is infused into various products, including oils, topicals, tinctures, edibles, and vapes.

Types of viruses and bacteria CBD kills

CBD tackles both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. These bacteria are normally resistant toantibiotics. The Gram-positivebacteria are harder to tackle due to their thickerprotectivemembranes than Gram-negative bacteria.

A 2021 study reported that, unlike other antibiotics, CBD does not need much to kill Gram-positive bacteria. Other drug resistance viruses that CBD can tackle include:

  • Clostridioidezdifficile- the virus responsible for a colon infection
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcusaureus- the virus responsible for staph infection
  • Streptococcus pneumonia- the virus responsible for pneumonia

Studies also found that CBD couldn't tackle around 20 Gram-negative virus infections. However, this was not unusual because, since 1962, no antibiotics have been proven to treat these bacteria.

However, cannabidiol could tackle the four forms of Gram-negativebacteria, which have been drug-resistant for quite some time. They include:

  • Moraxella catarrhalis- the virus responsible for bronchitis
  • Neisseria meningitides- the virus responsible for meningitis and blood infection
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae- the virus responsible for gonorrhoea
  • Legionella pneumonia- the virus responsible for Legionnaires’ disease

Yadevendra et al. (2020) noted that CBD is an effective anti-viral treatment.

A 2022 study supports these claims that CBD could kill Salmonella typhimurium, a Gram-negative infection responsible for stomach infections.

Why it matters

CBD’s potential as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent is a huge deal. According to the CDC, around two million individuals experience an antibiotic-resistantinfection yearly, and about 35,000die from it.

Wassmann et al. (2021)commented that CBD tackles bacteria and viruses such as; Neisseriagonorrhoea, streptococcus pneumonia and MRSA. Among these infections, MRSA seemed to have a harder time resisting CBD.

How CBD kills bacteria and viruses

CBD contains powerful qualities that make it complex for bacteria and viruses to adapt. Most drug-resistant viruses protect themselves by counteracting medications from reaching their cells. Some of their popular antibiotic-fighting strategies include:

  • Producing enzymes that destroy antibiotics
  • Flushing the antibiotics by building pumps
  • Rearranging their walls to prevent the antibiotics from fitting inside

CBD doesn't enter the virus to kill it; rather, it attacks its membranes. However, more research is needed to support these claims, especially why it is more effective than antibiotics.

The downside

Even though these findings are promising, CBD has not yet been approved as an anti-viral treatment. Its major weakness is it easily attaches itself to proteins. CBD travels to the bloodstream and binds to the plasma's proteins upon consumption. Cannabidiol does not destroy human proteins but binds to them. Around ten to fourteen per centof CBD remains free to kill bacteria and viruses.

Simply put, CBD doesn't kill an infection. However, it spreads throughout the body, fighting off the virus.

What research says

Research is still ongoing on how CBD attacks viruses and bacteria. Most studies confirm that the most successful delivery methods are oral formulas. Future cannabidioltreatmentstake the formulation of either a pill or nasal spray.

Consideration for utilising cannabidiol

Even though you might not harness CBD's antimicrobial and anti-viral potential yet, there are various factors you should consider before purchasing CBD for any other medical condition. They include:

Type of CBD

CBD is available in three formulations; full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. Full-spectrum CBD features all the other chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, including flavonoids, terpenes, Cannabigerol and cannabinol. A point to note is its THC levels do not exceed 0.2 per cent. It is considered the most effective form thanks to the entourage effect. It is a process whereby all the other cannabinoids work synergistically with CBD to boost its therapeutic and health benefits. Broad-spectrum CBD has most of the chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, excluding THC. CBD isolate has CBD solely.

Before purchasing any formulation, you must know what effects you desire.

CBD source

CBD is available inhemp and marijuana plants, bothcannabis species. What sets them apart is; the hemp plant contains high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC, while the marijuana plant contains high amounts of THC. Additionally, ensure it was locally cultivated.

Lab reports

A transparent company has proof of third-party lab test reports and a certificate of analysis. These reports confirm the safety and quality of a product. They also outline the compound's content levels and the presence of harmful substances such as pesticides and heavy metals.                                                                          


CBD is one of the over one hundred chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. CBD can tackle various antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, it won't replace antibiotics. CBD tackles bacteria and viruses such as; Neisseria gonorrhoea, streptococcus pneumonia and MRSA. CBD contains powerful qualities that make it complex for bacteria and viruses to adapt. Unlike other antibiotics, CBD doesn't enter the virus to kill it but attacks its membranes. However, more research is required to support these claims. However, it is important to seek medical guidance before using CBD for any infection.


Brave, L. (2019). CBD the Skin, Mind and Body. J Altern Complement Integr Med5, 060.

Hegazy, O., &Platnick, H. (2019). Cannabidiol (CBD) for treatment of neurofibromatosis-related pain and concomitant mood disorder: A case report. Cureus11(12).

Wassmann, C. S., &Klitgaard, J. K. (2021). Combination of cannabidiol and bacitracin against bacterial infections.

Yadevendra, Y., Arun, S., Usha, S., &Khemchand, S. (2020). Auspicious Offering of Lord Shiva as a Source of Natural Antiviral Compounds against COVID 19: A Review.