Cannabis and COVID-19: What the Latest Research Says

As the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, researchers are exploring various treatments to help prevent infection and manage long-term symptoms. A recent study from Dalhousie University in Canada, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, sheds light on the potential role of cannabis in limiting susceptibility and severity of COVID-19 infections.

Key Findings from the Study

Researchers reviewed existing scientific literature to explore how cannabinoids impact COVID-19. Here’s what they found:

  1. Preventing Infection: Cannabinoids may prevent viral entry and reduce the severity of the infection by modulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
  2. Mitigating Inflammation: Cannabis compounds appear to alleviate the “cytokine storm” associated with early COVID-19 infections, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
  3. Treating Long COVID Symptoms: There’s potential for cannabinoids to manage post-COVID-19 symptoms such as:
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Decreased appetite
    • Insomnia
    • Pain
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Injury
  4. Improving Health Outcomes: A separate study from October 2023 based on hospital data revealed that cannabis consumers who caught COVID-19 had lower rates of respiratory failure, intubation, and death.

Exercise Caution and Responsibility

While the findings are promising, it’s important to note the limitations of the current research:

  • Lack of standardization in cannabis products.
  • Potential differences in how cannabinoids affect adults and youth.
  • Extrapolation of results from studies not directly focused on COVID-19.

As the study concludes: “Despite the promising outlook, a comprehensive understanding of these aspects is crucial for establishing the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and ECS modulation on the onset of COVID-19 and lingering symptoms associated with long COVID-19.”

Source: Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System in Early SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Long COVID-19—A Scoping Review

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Other studies regarding Cannabis and COVID-19.

Cannabis use associated with lower mortality among hospitalized Covid-19 patients using the national inpatient sample: an epidemiological study

Cannabis consumption is associated with lower COVID-19 severity among hospitalized patients: a retrospective cohort analysis

Therapeutic Effects of Cannabinoids and Their Applications in COVID-19 Treatment

Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants

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