APR 03, 2020 8:49 AM PDT

Nope, Marijuana Does Not Cure COVID-19

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

As the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled panic across the world amid global lockdowns and spiking death tolls, some have started to claim that cannabis is able to cure people of the virus despite a lack of scientific evidence to support these claims. 

Although no study to date has examined the effects of marijuana as a possible treatment for COVID-19, some preclinical studies looking at the possibility of cannabidiol (CBD), a key constituent of cannabis, have suggested that the substance may be able to enable some positive results in those with hepatitis C and Kaposi sarcoma. Meanwhile, another study has shown that CBD was able to reduce neuroinflammation in a virus-induced animal model of multiple sclerosis. 

Apart from these research samples however- none of which came from clinical sources- the only other evidence that marijuana may cure coronavirus, or indeed, may be effective against any virus, comes from anecdotal and nonscientific sources. This means that, although CBD may have some application against the novel coronavirus and other viruses, due to a lack of proper research, any claims towards this are inconclusive. 

That isn’t to say however that medicinal marijuana and indeed CBD may not be effective in treating some of the indirect symptoms of the virus. It is well-documented for example that medical marijuana may be effective in treating anxiety among certain people- something that may explain the rushes on cannabis dispensaries across the US during the pandemic. 

Despite this, it is nevertheless worth noting that people who smoke are at a higher risk of more severe complications from COVID-19 than non-smokers. Although research towards this point has predominantly focused on tobacco smoke, as cannabis is often smoked alongside tobacco, and is nevertheless combusted when smoked, it may mean that smoking the substance could pose a health risk by needlessly damagingthe lungs- not a great prerequisite for contracting the novel coronavirus. 

This has thus led Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to recommend that people limit or even avoid exposure to combustion smoke, and instead consume cannabis as an edible. He said, “Because COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, some of you may wish to limit or avoid their exposure to combustive smoke — as this can put undue stress and strain on the lungs. Alternative delivery devices, such as vaporizer heating devices can significantly mitigate combustive smoke exposure, and of course, the use of edibles or tinctures can eliminate smoke exposure entirely.”


Sources: NORML, Labroots, Washington Post, Liebertpub

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
JUN 30, 2021
Health & Medicine
Short Term Cannabis May Help Chronic Insomnia
JUN 30, 2021
Short Term Cannabis May Help Chronic Insomnia
Insomnia is thought to affect 10-30 percent of people globally, rendering them unable to function optimally during the d ...
JUL 08, 2021
Health & Medicine
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Is Helped by Hot Pepper Cream
JUL 08, 2021
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Is Helped by Hot Pepper Cream
A new research review suggests that capsaicin cream, rubbed into the abdomen, may help with the symptoms of cannabinoid ...
AUG 04, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Can You Overdose on CBD?
AUG 04, 2021
Can You Overdose on CBD?
Due to limitations to research on cannabidiol (CBD), it can be hard to know which dose is best for you. While there are ...
AUG 21, 2021
Health & Medicine
Teenage Cannabis Link to Poorer Birth Outcomes Two Decades Later
AUG 21, 2021
Teenage Cannabis Link to Poorer Birth Outcomes Two Decades Later
A new study suggests that females and males who were frequent users of cannabis while teenagers are more likely to becam ...
SEP 23, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Cannabis- A Quality of Life Question
SEP 23, 2021
Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Cannabis- A Quality of Life Question
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term used to describe chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. In gener ...
SEP 30, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Concerning New Evidence Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
SEP 30, 2021
Concerning New Evidence Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
According to data from a National Vital Statistics Report published in March 2021, the percentage of infants born with a ...
Loading Comments...