Effects of Cannabidiol on Innate Immunity: Experimental Evidence and Clinical Relevance

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Feb 4;24(4):3125. doi: 10.3390/ijms24043125.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main non-psychotropic cannabinoid derived from cannabis (Cannabis sativa L., fam. Cannabaceae). CBD has received approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. However, CBD also has prominent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects; evidence exists that it could be beneficial in chronic inflammation, and even in acute inflammatory conditions, such as those due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this work, we review available evidence concerning CBD's effects on the modulation of innate immunity. Despite the lack so far of clinical studies, extensive preclinical evidence in different models, including mice, rats, guinea pigs, and even ex vivo experiments on cells from human healthy subjects, shows that CBD exerts a wide range of inhibitory effects by decreasing cytokine production and tissue infiltration, and acting on a variety of other inflammation-related functions in several innate immune cells. Clinical studies are now warranted to establish the therapeutic role of CBD in diseases with a strong inflammatory component, such as multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, cancer, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: PMN; cannabidiol; innate immunity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19*
  • Cannabidiol* / pharmacology
  • Cannabis*
  • Clinical Relevance
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States


  • Cannabidiol

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.