Is this another homerun for the advocates of legalized marijuana? Cannabis users who also caught COVID showed better outcomes compared to non-users, according to a report in the Journal of Cannabis Research.
The report says that cannabis users who contracted COVID needed shorter hospital time, lower ICU admission rates, and less need for ventilators. This report suggests that active marijuana users had better outcomes regarding COVID than non-users. Why might that be? Cannabis has been shown to reduce inflammation and in alleviating pain.
However, a study done on mice in 2017 in the Journal of Neuroimmunomodulation showed that any form of THC consumption can put you at greater risk of catching the Coronavirus.
And yet other studies suggest that cannabis strengthens the immune system and helps it recover its equilibrium to fight infections. This seems to be what happens with HIV patients. Several studies have proven that HIV patients that use cannabis have higher T cell counts. Therefore, cannabis seems to help these patients cope with their symptoms and strengthens their body's response to the disease.
While some authors recommend caution in encouraging cannabis use for prevention or treatment of COVID-19, as has been eschewed in the media, there has been growing interest in this area of research. Recently, a pharmaceutical company has announced an early trial evaluating a cannabidiol treatment in severe and critical COVID-19 infections.
Further studies will help to better understand the relationship between cannabis and COVID-19 outcomes. In the meantime, could it really hurt (where it is legal)?