JUN 11, 2021 7:30 AM PDT

Does Cannabis Interact with the COVID Vaccine?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

As of June 10th 2021, 43% of people in the US aged 12 and over have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with 52% having received at least one dose. As cannabis use increases, should people e careful about their usage of the plant while being vaccinated? 

The answer to this question is unknown. This comes as trials for the various vaccines available did not exclude nor track patients' use of cannabinoids, and how they may affect the vaccine’s efficacy between individuals. That said, many say that there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines interact badly with either alcohol or cannabis. 

“There are no data on marijuana. I cannot make any statements around it,” says Dr. Elixabeth Connick, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Arizona in an interview with tuscon.com, “I simply don’t know, but I don’t know that anybody else does either.”

“The vaccines were studied primarily in people who were not heavy marijuana users...But some of those people probably did use marijuana. (Researchers) don’t have data on it, so we can’t make a recommendation. Use your own good judgment.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Frank Lucido, a medical cannabis specialist based in Berkeley, California, said in an interview with Leafly that he worries about lung illness from severe COVID as opposed to interactions between weed and vaccines. He added that people needn’t feel worried about sticking to their regular cannabis consumption habits as the body generates protective antibodies against the coronavirus. 

Ultimately, whether or not cannabis interacts with COVID-19 vaccines is up for debate, and thus seeking advice from a medical practitioner on the matter may be advisable. 

Despite this, however, to encourage people to take the vaccine, some states are now offering cannabis-based promotions. In Washington for example, under a program called ‘Joints for Jabs’, state-licensed dispensaries can give people who have had one or two jabs a pre-rolled joint at an in-store vaccination clinic. A similar program also exists in Arizona called ‘Snax for Vaxx’ and provides those who have been vaccinated with free joints and edibles. 

 

Sources: tuscon.comNY TimesLeaflyNPR

About the Author
  • Science writer with a keen interest in behavioral biology, consciousness medicine and technology. Her current focus is how the interplay of these fields can create meaningful interactions, products and environments.
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