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Can Cannabis Treat COVID-19?

Can Cannabis Treat Covid-19?

The global pandemic concerning the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spark concerns and attempts to avoid contracting the virus. This article addresses some of the precautions cannabis users should take and answers the question, “Can cannabis treat COVID-19?”

Medical Marijuana (MMJ) is used to treat a number of qualifying conditions. Those explicitly defined in Florida’s medical marijuana law are cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, seizures, Crohn’s disease, chronic muscle spasms, PTSD, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. (The expanded list of qualifying conditions may be found at docmj.com.) Find out if you pre-qualify for a recommendation in just two steps! First, take our eligibility survey. Once pre-qualified you may schedule an in-person exam with one of our Florida Medical Marijuana Doctors. Completing the survey takes only 5 minutes. Find out if you pre-qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation today!

Cannabis as Treatment for COVID-19?

It’s important to note that cannabis is in no way, shape, or form, a cure for any virus including COVID-19, and any establishment making those claims is spreading false information. There is no research to support any such claim. However, there are some very important considerations to what THC and CBD can do for those who are experiencing anxiety during this stressful time in our world.

Dosing with cannabis for anxiety is unique to each patient because people can experience different reactions based on their individual body chemistry. Research has shown that low doses of cannabis generally help anxiety, while higher doses can worsen it.1 There are also many different strains on the market in varying combinations of THC and CBD. 

Dr. Shawn Meirovici, Toronto-based naturopathic specialist in pain management agrees there is no evidence to support cannabis as a treatment for cold or the flu. However, responsible use of cannabis can provide relief for some symptoms. According to Meirovici, “The cannabinoids THC and CBD have been shown to have pain-relieving, sleep-inducing, and anti-inflammatory properties.”2 This suggests cannabis can relieve body aches, reduce inflammation in the airways, and bring relaxation for better rest. Regarding flu symptoms, Meirovici says cannabis may have “antipyretic or fever-reducing properties, due to its ability to suppress the immune system” and that some research shows CBD to have anti-viral properties.2

Medical marijuana patients should always seek the advice of a recommending or primary physician for help deciding how best to treat any medical symptom. 

Cannabis Strains That Relieve Anxiety

Cannabis research group Whistler Therapeutics of BC, Canada released a study in October 2019 in which they determined what they believe are the best cannabis strains for anxiety. Through matching study participants’ preferences to the chemical compositions in each cannabis type, they suggest the following strains:3

  1. Bubba Kush
  2. Skywalker OG Kush
  3. Blueberry Lambsbread
  4. Kosher Kush

How Cannabis Users Can Reduce the Risk of Contracting COVID-19

  • Don’t believe the rumors circulating on social media about the effects of CBD on COVID-19. While CBD provides many benefits that can bring relief to those suffering from cold and flu symptoms, it simply isn’t a cure-all and there is no evidence to support those claims
  • Every news outlet and information source has been reminding people to wash their hands and avoid touching their face. A thorough washing of the hands can save lives! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a national “handwashing campaign” to spread awareness and provide instruction for this important practice. They recommend washing your hands during key times:5
    • Before, during, and after preparing food
    • Before eating food
    • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
    • Before and after treating a cut or wound
    • After using the toilet
    • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
    • After handling pet food or pet treats
    • After touching garbage

As it cannot be overstated, the CDC also recommends following these five steps to wash your hands* the right way:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

*When soap and water are unavailable, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol will reduce some germs.

  • Don’t wait to start practicing social distancing. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises people to “Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.”6 This is because as people cough or sneeze, small droplets of liquid are expelled from the nose and mouth which could contain the virus. Anyone standing too close to someone who is infected could breath in the droplets and also become infected.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, including while using cannabis. “Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.”6 
  • Cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, then immediately throw the tissue away. This instruction is also important when someone feels the urge to cough after smoking or vaping cannabis.6

Other Resources for Information on COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) offers a Q&A on COVID-19 that explains a wide range of relevant information: www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is regularly updating its website with the latest data and research on the coronavirus: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html 

Is Medical Marijuana Right for Me?

Whether medical marijuana will help your condition depends on many factors best evaluated by a medical doctor. If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to take our eligibility survey. In just 5 minutes, you could pre-qualify for a Florida medical marijuana recommendation. A Florida Marijuana Marijuana Doctor can then determine if you qualify during an in-person exam. For more information, visit https://docmj.com.

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0269881111408958
  2. https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-cold-flu-experts-discuss
  3. https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/got-anxiety-study-finds-cannabis-strains-to-try-or-avoid
  4. https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-coronavirus-covid-19-facts
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
  6. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public