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Posted 05/17/2020 in Health

COVID-19 & Smoking Marijuana

COVID-19 & Smoking Marijuana

Covid-19 is a respiratory virus that emerged in Wuhan, China, as 2019 was near its end. It was able to spread throughout the whole world in a few months. The pandemic is still ongoing and as of today more than 15.2 million cases have been reported spanning 180 countries and it has contributed to 623,000 deaths so far.


Common symptoms include fever, shortening of breath, loss of taste, loss of smell, fatigue, etc. It is a fact that most cases yield milder symptoms and patients tend to recover almost 80 percent of the time, some cases can lead to ailments such as ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome).


This virus spreads from human to human via contact. It can live in the environment for a few hours. Droplets from sneezing or coughing by an infected person can stay at some surface which another person can touch, hence spreading the virus. Touching a contaminated surface with hands and then touching the face is the main cause of transfer. Mouth, nose, and eyes are the most vulnerable parts to be infected. The standard method of diagnosis is running a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) from a nasal or a pharyngeal swab. Doctors tend to examine X-ray scans of the chest and can have an idea of infection as the virus damages the lungs the most.

Smoking effects:

Smoking alone is extremely harmful to your respiratory organs and most to your natural ventilators, the lungs. If Covid-19 happens to attack a system that has already been weakened by smoking tobacco and your lungs have a reduced capacity for breathing and your alveoli have already reduced spaces, how come can you be better at fighting it? There is no way, or at least it seems adverse yet.

There were questions raising concern if smoking can have an adverse effect when  suffering from Covid-19, but medical professionals have now agreed that it is so and there is a growing body of evidence that it can lead to a worsened condition. Smokers are more vulnerable to Covid-19 as they have to endure gradual 'stretching' of the lungs possibly leading to emphysema. 

The other side of the coin: Is marijuana safe in Covid-19 or even beneficial:

There is a growing amount of research that indicates that marijuana can be an effective treatment for Covid-19. This has to do with marijuana in raw form or its extracts, no study has shown its beneficial effects when smoked. However, in America like many countries, it is prohibited to use marijuana for scientific research. You cannot conduct a trial to know the efficacy of marijuana in treating Covid-19, yet there is promising research that indicates some chemicals in cannabis can be used for the treatment of Covid-19. To be specific, some chemicals from its extract that interact with the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins, very proteins that are thought to be the receptive sites for Covid-19.  Patients would need to explore the THC vs indica strains of cannabis.

Some researchers have indicated that marijuana extract can be used as a mouth freshener, thus helping Covid-19 patients specifically.

Some natural cannabinoids and some synthetic ones such as PPP003(Inflammatory Cytokine Reduction drug) can be used to reduce inflammation and for boosting the immune system.

Some Israeli scientists have shown that cannabinoids loaded exosomes can be used as an effective treatment for Covid-19. Research on marijuana as a therapeutic agent for Coronaviruses is not new. Previously, in 2003, Chinese scientists have demonstrated many anti-SARS properties of marijuana.


Covid-19 Is a deadly virus the enters through the respiratory tract to lungs. It gains entry to lungs via ACE-II receptors that are binding sites for COVID. Smoking alone can be proven harmful o lung makes people more prone to disease severity. Medical marijuana has interestingly can potentially be effective against COVID, but the evidence is clear at this time. Hence researchers are still experimenting with it as a drug for treatment in COVID. Medical marijuana can bind to these receptors so it prohibits the access of these receptors to the virus. Hence cannabis possibly has a preventive role in this disease as it decreases lung tissue damage which then causes extensive inflammation in the lungs. The use of cannabis has increased due to the pandemic and associated socio-economic issues, lack of access ro allopathic healthcare, and the overall stress and anxiety of the situation. The reason is why its use in different countries has dramatically increased.

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