Cannabidiol as a Novel Therapeutic for Immune Modulation

Immunotargets Ther. 2020 Aug 18:9:131-140. doi: 10.2147/ITT.S263690. eCollection 2020.


The immune-suppressive effects of cannabidiol (CBD) are attributed to the modulation of essential immunological signaling pathways and receptors. Mechanistic understanding of the pharmacological effects of CBD emphasizes the therapeutic potential of CBD as a novel immune modulator. Studies have observed that the antagonists of CB1 and CB2 receptors and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 reverse the immunomodulatory effects of CBD. CBD also inhibits critical activators of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling pathway, as well as the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor signaling pathway, in turn decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Furthermore, CBD protects against cellular damage incurred during immune responses by modulating adenosine signaling. Ultimately, the data overwhelmingly support the immunosuppressive effects of CBD and this timely review draws attention to the prospective development of CBD as an effective immune modulatory therapeutic.

Keywords: CB1 and CB2 receptors; CBD; JAK/STAT; TRPV1; cannabidiol; immune modulation; inflammasome.

Publication types

  • Review