Brazilian researchers have found CBD treatment reduced the symptoms of burnout and emotional exhaustion among healthcare professionals working with patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In a randomised clinical trial of 120 frontline workers, emotional exhaustion scores were reduced among those receiving CBD and standard care compared with those receiving standard care alone. 

Participants working with patients at São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School University Hospital were enrolled between June and November 2020. Over a 28-day period, 61 were given a 150mg dose of CBD twice daily plus standard care, while 59 received standard care alone.

Emotional exhaustion and burnout symptoms, assessed using the Brazilian version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory–Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel, decreased significantly in the treatment arm at days 14, 21 and 28. 

However, five participants in the CBD group experienced serious adverse events, including elevated liver enzymes and severe pharmacodermia, resulting in the discontinuation of treatment and full recovery. 

The researchers said the results showed CBD therapy reduced symptoms of burnout and emotional exhaustion, but given the side effect profile among some participants, warned it is necessary to balance the benefits with potential undesired or adverse effects. 

They added future double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings.

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