Can Medical Marijuana Help In Treating Coronavirus
Dr-Weedy Medical Team 8 min
There’s so much noise lately about that coronavirus from China, people are scared and looking for magic remedy. In this quest they oftentimes look around and want to find rescue in something they use in their everyday life — food, drinks, meditations, sports, etc. Marijuana is no exception. It seems that all this hype was initiated by an Indian film director Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri. He posted in his Instagram a meme that propagated legalizing marijuana and saying that it is a magic plant that solves lots of problems, in particular — it kills coronavirus.
First of all, let’s agree that it is not true. There is no scientific evidence that weed can cure coronavirus. Neither CBD nor THC are found to combat this plague of the 2020. Actually, the World Health Organization (WHO), together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that there is no vaccine or effective remedy for the novel virus. Many institutes all over the world are conducting clinical trials, but none of their drugs were acknowledged as safe and effective for COVID-19. In this article, we’ll look deeper into this question.
What Is Coronavirus?
Actually, coronaviruses are the family of viruses, some of them cause diseases that have similar symptoms with a common cold. These infections can be transmitted from animals to humans. COVID-19 stands for COrona VIrus Disease 2019, as it was firstly found in humans the city of Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Here is some basic info:
the incubation period in humans is 14 days, it means that a person can seem healthy for two weeks after the exposure without showing any symptoms of the disease;
the main manifestations of the infection are fever, coughing, and shortness of breath;
to avoid the congestion, avoid crowded places, wash your hands, do not touch eyes and face, and disinfect objects you touch.
In the most severe cases, the infection leads to viral pneumonia and organ failure. As of March 2020, almost 4000 deaths have been caused by COVID-19, and more than 62,000 people recovered from the virus. The total number of cases in the USA, reported by CDC at the moment, is 423, with 19 fatal outcomes.
Is Weed Allowed If I Have Coronavirus?
Having said that it does not cure the disease, marijuana does not make coronavirus worse either. At least, there is no scientific research that proves this. Thus, weed is not contraindicated for patients with COVID-19. You do not have to quit smoking pot or taking medical cannabis while recovering from the infection.
However, we know that cannabinoids influence major systems of our bodies:
Let’s investigate how these effects can alleviate or aggravate the symptoms of the virus.
Antiviral Powers of Cannabis
There is a number of studies that prove the beneficial effects of marijuana for treating flu and other viruses. Mainly, it is due to the ability of cannabis to increase the count of immune cells in the blood. This effect was proven by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This research showed that weed increases the number of white blood cells, thus helping us combat the viruses and microbial infections.
Moreover, hemp helps our T-killers to recognize malignant tumors, and promotes immune cells proliferation. This can also help in treating hepatitis C and herpes. Cannabinoids also protect our bodies from the excessive immune response, when the immunity destroys “good” tissues of our bodies, which may lead to organ failure. This also may help us recover from the viral infections without severe complications.
Marijuana VS Inflammations
That massive immune response mentioned herein above can be very dangerous to humans as it leads to a constant inflammation of various organs or entire body systems. When this goes out of control, the situation may become really dangerous, and lead to death. Marijuana successfully stops inflammation and prevents adverse consequences of the immune attack on the infection.
We have to thank our endocannabinoid system for this. It produces neurotransmitters, endocannabinoids, which are very similar by chemical structure to the active compounds of cannabis. These endogenous agents come into action exactly when our bodies need to downregulate the defensive action of our organism.
However, oftentimes, especially when the immunity cannot combat the infection easily, endocannabinoids are not effective enough. This is where medical marijuana comes to a rescue. Its working ingredients do not cancel the immune response completely, but slow it down, make more controlled and safe for our health.
Can Marijuana Help With Simple Cold Symptoms
Yes, it can. The symptoms of flu and cold occur when the tissues in the body are bombed by the immune cells. Inflammations leads to fever, difficulty breathing, running nose, watery and itchy eyes, pains, and headaches. Marijuana conquers inflammations — and thus conquers all these symptoms of the common cold.
Coronavirus manifests itself in a similar fashion, so a good guess is that marijuana can help people who suffer from COVID-19. But we have to be very careful saying such things — there is no scientific evidence of this marijuana effect, and you have to be very careful when treating such a dangerous infection.
Moreover, we should not forget that smoking weed can actually aggravate the respiratory problems related to the virus. Your coughing may get much worse after a joint, there are many reports on the net from people who felt worse and blame marijuana in it. The best policy is always consult a doctor when you notice any changes in your state, either for the worse or better.
How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus When Using Pot
If you like marijuana and cannot or do not want to quit, but in the same time you do not want to catch COVID-19, there are simple rules to follow that will keep you on the safe side:
roll your own joint. Do not use big cigarettes for the whole company, make small ones for each of you. It will prevent you from exchanging germs;
if you buy edibles — wrap them yourself. As well as if you are having a party, also wrap each cookie separately, so that people when taking one do not touch the others. Avoid taking edibles from a big common plate when you are visiting your friends;
use bong condoms, do not share vapers or anything else;
do not come into a close contact with people who have any flu symptoms;
and again — wash and disinfect your hands.
And always ask for professional help if you notice any signs of the virus. Do not wait and hope for a good fortune, it can be dangerous.
We have to repeat here that marijuana does not cure coronavirus, and there is no better strain, or form, or dose of weed for this purpose. However, there are hopes, and even clinically proven facts, that weed can make it easier for you to recover from the disease. Unfortunately, there is no effective drug for it as of now, and people can only wait for the virus to go away. Marijuana can make this process less depressing and painful, at least.
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