Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was found to reduce the infectivity of herpes simplex virus and was without effect against adenovirus type 2 or poliovirus. The effective THC concentration resulting in an 80% decrement in virus viability was dependent upon the presence or absence of serum in the incubation mixture, as a 5% serum concentration decreased the drug activity by approximately 50-fold. THC-mediated inactivation of herpes simplex virus was both time and dose dependent and did not result in virion disassembly or clumping. The THC-related effect was not influenced by the pH of the suspending medium, suggesting that the mechanism of inactivation differed from that associated with the thermal inactivation of the virus. Thus, the data suggest that THC preferentially reduces the infectivity of the enveloped herpes simplex virus, and that this activity is modulated by the presence of serum proteins.