CBD (cannabidiol) has been shown to help with anxiety and sleep, but a new study published Thursday in peer-reviewed journal Science Advances shows it can prevent COVID infection (SARS-CoV-2). The team of 33 researchers surveyed 1,212 US patients who were taking oral CBD and found that they had fewer positive COVID tests compared to patients in the control group who were not taking CBD. The patients were taking prescribed 100 milligrams-per-milliliter oral doses of CBD to treat seizure-related conditions.

The scientists also did lab tests on human-lung cells by treating them with CBD for two hours before infecting them with SARS-CoV-2. After 48 hours, they found that “CBD inhibits the replication of genes required for the growth and spread of the virus throughout the body.” They found the same results after conducting the tests using three COVID-19 variants.

This exciting data shows that taking CBD can prevent COVID infections and maybe even breakthrough infections, which could be the most helpful. You may have also heard of a study published in the Journal of Nature Products showing cannabis stopping the COVID virus from infecting human cells. Cannabis that contains the compound THC is different than the compound CBD, and taking recreational cannabis in the form of smoking is bad for your lungs, so it’s not recommended.

Researchers also don’t recommend running out and taking any CBD product (edibles, inhalants, or topicals) you can get your hands on to prevent COVID. There needs to be more rigorous testing done on human trials to know exactly what formula and dosage of CBD is most effective against COVID. It’s possible that CBD could be used as a preventive measure, such as during travel. Or maybe it could be used to prevent a more serious infection if you start taking it as soon as you get a positive test back. Hopefully, with further testing, scientists could develop a CBD product specifically for COVID.

But in the meantime, experts say that taking CBD should not replace other medically proven health measures, such as vaccines, wearing a well-fitted mask, social distancing, and proper hand washing.

POPSUGAR aims to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about the coronavirus, but details and recommendations about this pandemic may have changed since publication. For the latest information on COVID-19, please check out resources from the WHO, CDC, and local public health departments.

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