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Does Weed Enhance Chances To Catch Coronavirus?

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Dr-Weedy Medical Team Chromometer 6 min

Everyone is talking about this Chinese virus lately, right? There are more questions than answers, and people are scared. They are looking for a cure and at the same time try to protect themselves and avoid any chances to catch the infection. Coronavirus spreads so rapidly all over the world, and it seems there is no more safe place on our planet where you can just wait till its all over. So, what should you do or not do in order to stay healthy? Maybe, quit drinking, eat healthy food, or, who knows, cease smoking pot?

Does weed enhance chances to catch coronavirus

Does marijuana makes you more vulnerable to COVID-19? We’ll not make you guess, the answer is we do not know for sure. This disease is rather new, and there still is no scientific data on how it interacts with other ailments or substances. Weed itself does not seem to influence the virus or your chances to get it.

However, we know that coronavirus can attack everyone, but in most cases people get well in some time without any treatment. Only those who have weak immune system or some chronic diseases are in danger to develop serious complications and even die. Let’s see if cannabis can contribute coronavirus here, damaging some our organs or disabling our natural protection.

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 is a new earlier unknown type of respiratory coronavirus infection that affects mammals and can transit from animals to humans. The symptoms are similar to those of a simple influenza:

  • dry cough;
  • fever;
  • difficulty breathing.

There is no cure for this disease, doctors can help you to relieve symptoms. In serious cases, it causes both lungs pneumonia and organ failure, there are thousands of lethal outcomes all over the world.

Is there a protection from coronavirus? The preventive measures to stay away from COVID-19 and slow down its spread are:

  • avoid people with the symptoms of cold;
  • do not touch your face;
  • wash your hands;
  • do not go to crowded places;
  • stay at home if you feel sick;
  • disinfect everything you touch;
  • have single-use tissues to cover your coughs and sneezes.

By March 12, 2020 we have more than 125 thousand cases with over 4,600 deaths. The death rate is not too high, 3.4% according to the WHO, but it increases hugely in elderly and vulnerable people.

How Marijuana Affects Immune System

How Marijuana Affects Immune System

The scientists do not have any certain clear-cut answer for this question. There are numerous studies that give show contradictory results. Some say that marijuana has an anti-inflammatory effects and is a good prevention of autoimmune diseases. Others — that it suppresses the immune system, thus making us more prone to infectious diseases.

UCLA research says that pot inhibits the immune response when it  is needed — in people with bad inflammations. At the same time, the Journal of Cannabis Research refers to the national research conducted by the CDC. This survey shows that people who use medical marijuana have more white blood cells than non-users.

These cells are the main part of our immune system, they find, recognize, and kill the infections and foreign elements in our bodies. With a higher WBC count, we are more protected from viruses, including COVID-19. This is a theory. In practice, we cannot say that smoking pot you make your natural defence stronger and combat coronavirus.

Marijuana’s Respiratory Tract Effects

Marijuana’s Respiratory Tract Effects

Smoking cannabis can cause certain problems with lungs and airways, as the research shows. As weed contains a lot of compounds that are found in tobacco, the problems are also similar. Marijuana use is not associated with anything really dangerous, like cancer, but it can cause:

  • cough;
  • airway damages;
  • short breath;
  • respiratory inflammations.

All of these consequences are not driven by cannabinoids, but occur because of high content of tar, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and other hazardous elements.

As we already know, COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, and here is a strong chance that marijuana, making our lungs and respiratory tract more vulnerable, can increase the chances to develop adverse complications from the infection. This is only a suggestion, nothing is confirmed clinically. But if you are concerned about it, you can always choose some other forms of medical or recreational weed, e.g. edibles.


As you see, the science cannot help us find reliable ways to protect ourselves from the novel plague of the 21st century, except washing hands many times a day. Neither it gives us the answer if our lifestyle or everyday habits can protect us or, vice versa, help the virus get us. The positive side of it is that there is no information that would make us tell you that you have to quit using weed until the epidemic goes down.

Follow the instructions of WHO, and if you smoke pot with friends — make sure that all of you have your individual joint. The same goes to edibles — avoid serving them in a big plate, give everyone their own cookies. And even if you are very close friends and love each other, try to keep at least 1.5 meter distance. These simple rules will not let you exchange germs and keep you healthy.

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