COVID-19 and Cannabis: Where do we stand?

COVID-19 and Cannabis: Where do we stand?

Many are already familiar with the highly infectious disease COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) that has been spreading across the globe since late December. According to Statista, of the 3.8 million people across the world that are infected with coronavirus, only 1.4 million have recovered as of May 7, 2020.  With reports that COVID-19 causes lung problems, this raises a few questions within the cannabis community. Can marijuana help against coronavirus? Or will marijuana make it worse? Ironically, the answer to both questions is yes. 

The disease’s symptoms include fever, lethargy, and chills, and have also been known to especially target the respiratory system. When COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, the infected can experience a dry cough, shortness of breath, and persistent chest pain. As the disease worsens, complications can arise, leading to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and sepsis. Survivors have been reported to have lasting lung damage and scar tissue even after having recovered.

How Smokeless THC can prevent COVID-19

The medical community has long acknowledged more and more of the healing benefits and various uses surrounding cannabis and hemp. Politicians and national governments have very slowly, but gradually begun to follow suit as well, with 30 countries and 33 U.S. states having legalized marijuana on a recreational or medical basis. Growing acceptance has allowed for more dispensaries, seed banks, farms, and labs to safely produce cannabis and cannabis-related products, including alternative, smokeless methods of consuming marijuana. THC now comes in many forms, including oils, candies (like gummies and lollipops), edibles (like cookies and brownies), capsules, and drinkables. THC can be infused into just about anything, even food. Using items such as bubblers can help reduce any damage from smoke.

Switching to smokeless methods can help reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus by stopping the damage done by smoke. Smoking of any kind causes irritation and microtears within the lungs, weakening them and making them more susceptible to infection. For nicotine smokers, vaping has shown to cause less damage then cigarettes 

Can THC Cure COVID-19?

We know that cannabis has begun to take its place within the medical and healing communities, but can it cure coronavirus? Only time will tell. Research shows that the most harmful part of the viral disease is what is known as a “cytokine storm” causing severe inflammation throughout the body, and eventually leading to death. It is known that cannabis helps the immune system, not only by strengthening it, but also by helping restore equilibrium and remedying most inflammations within the body. Current research shows promising results for marijuana to be a part of the answer, if not the cure; however, it is still too early to determine what process it plays as there is not yet a cure for coronavirus.

If you already had health concerns unrelated to COVID-19, you are at greater risk, however, marijuana can still help heal on a preventative basis. Countless studies have promoted the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Ingesting a smokeless form of THC can both help strengthen the immune system and offer a safer method of marijuana use.

Overall

Marijuana was already an important healing component on its own, but we see how there is potential for a more involved role as a cure for COVID-19. However, at this time the role marijuana plays in today’s pandemic is as a preventative method. It can still be used in a smokeless method to achieve its known health benefits such as reducing inflammation and boosting immune defense, but only time will tell if research labs decide to include THC within their cure.