Does Weed Help With Covid? Relief, Benefits & More
This post is part of our Best Dispensary in San Diego series, sponsored by Cannabist.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article about COVID-19 is based on the latest available research and guidelines as of the date of publication. As the understanding of COVID-19 is continuously evolving, readers are advised to consult official health sources and professionals for the most current advice and information. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice or diagnosis. Oh, and never ever ever smoke in bed!
SARS-CoV-2–the infamous coronavirus that causes COVID-19–is spread through respiratory droplets which disperse in all directions when you speak, sneeze, have a runny nose, or cough, and it is highly contagious. Whether you’ve experienced COVID first hand, or know a friend, family member, or coworker has suffered from the virus, you know how distressing and unpleasant the associated symptoms can be. Once you’ve been infected, it can take days, if not weeks or months, to recover–if at all.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much out there that can help combat symptoms once you’ve caught the nasty virus. Despite lack of treatment options, however, several studies allude to the powerful compounds in cannabis that may serve as a viable therapy option to relieve certain symptoms of COVID.
Wait, wait, wait…does weed help with COVID? Surprisingly enough, cannabis has shown a fair amount of potential in fighting against COVID-19, and to help alleviate symptoms of COVID varying from headaches, body aches and pain, and more.
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What Science Says About Weed and Covid
What does science say about the relationship between weed and COVID?
Research suggests that specific compounds in cannabis hinder entry of COVID into human cells. These compounds–Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)–work to bind to the spike proteins of SARS’CoV-2, which can ultimately help prevent COVID infections.
Research studies also concluded that cannabis users had a milder progression of the virus compared to non-users. Science also shows that cannabis users were found to have a considerably lower risk of catching COVID-19–age, gender, race, medical and smoking history dependent, of course. In fact, regular cannabis users, particularly those who consumed cannabis at least once a month, were correlated with a markedly lower risk of COVID-19 infection. Active cannabis users admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 contraction even had better clinical results, relative to non cannabis users, including reduced demand for ICU admission or mechanical assistance for breathing.
Nonusers, on the other hand, indicated higher levels of inflammatory biomarkers upon initial admission to the hospital, indicating that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis were working their magic on cannabis users who contracted the virus.
That said, there is not enough information to determine whether cannabis use had a substantial impact on broader survival among COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, it is advised for patients to avoid certain methods of cannabis consumption–such as inhaling cannabis smoke and vaping–as it can aggravate a sore throat and respiratory issues.
How Does Weed Help with Covid-19 Symptoms
So how exactly does weed help with COVID 19 symptoms? Cannabis can perform as a significant therapeutic plant, and the possible impact weed has for COVID-19 symptoms are shockingly high. Indicators of COVID include body aches, headaches, general pain, and a killer sore throat. Brain fog, cognitive dysfunction, and fevers and chills are other unpleasant manifestations one might experience once they’ve been infected.
Swelling and inflammation, caused by COVID as a response mechanism from the body’s immune system, can result in brain swelling and headaches, and extreme body soreness and muscle stiffness. Several studies demonstrate cannabis has cytokine storm fighting properties, which help shield the body from invasive pathogens. Because THC’s contain anti-inflammatory properties, COVID-19 patients may see improvements in headaches and general pain as a result of using THC.
The Benefits of Using Weed for COVID
The benefits of using weed for COVID are surprisingly bountiful. If you’ve experienced the overall pain from COVID that can leave one bedridden for days or weeks, you’re well aware of how magical pain relief can feel. Weed demonstrates an impressive capability for reducing inflammation in patients with COVID, with therapeutic potential to decrease muscle weakness, body soreness, joint pain, and even headaches caused by inflammation of the brain. Cannabis can also increase serotonin’s effects, which are responsible for evoking pain relief.
Additionally, weed has immunomodulatory properties that can alter your body’s antiviral reaction in a positive way. Some immunomodulatory agents–used to fight certain cancers and other serious physical conditions–can help restore the immune system to normal functioning when the body is suffering.
If you are losing sleep from fighting COVID, certain strains–such as indica and indica dominant hybrids–can promote sleep as they contain sedative properties. Similarly, if you are feeling low energy or general fatigue from getting kicked in the butt by COVID, strains like sativa or sativa dominant hybrids can work wonders to help boost your energy levels and mood.
Brain fog and cognitive dysfunction are other symptoms that weed has the potential to help alleviate. Ask your budtender to show you strains that promote clearer thinking, focus, and relaxation.
Best Way To Protect Yourself From COVID
Does weed affect COVID test? Well that’s a different story. With current COVID test kits, it’s hard to say what can impact your test results, as false-positive and false-negatives aren’t all that uncommon.
The best way to protect yourself from COVID is to be on top of cleaning and disinfecting anything you come into contact with, and washing your hands more often than you think would be necessary. Be cognizant of touching your face and rubbing your eyes, and do not for whatever reason put your fingers in your mouth. If you are in a place with heavy foot traffic, a doctor’s office or an enclosed space that lacks ventilation like a bus, train or plane, then wearing a mask or face covering is a smart move. Avoid crowds or places that lack airflow whenever possible. Avoid sharing joints, bongs, or any other smoking devices, as well as drinks, straws, and eating utensils.
Are Weed Smokers At Higher Risk for Covid?
If you already smoke vape or cannabis, health care professionals recommend that you stop smoking to eliminate the risk of escalating respiratory irritation and infection, which can raise your chances of developing more severe symptoms.
Are weed smokers at higher risk for COVID? Older adults who use cannabis are at greater risk of developing respiratory and cardiovascular complications. It is recommended to administer cannabis orally through sublingual drops and tinctures or tasty edibles or beverages instead of smoking or vaping. They are far less damaging on the lungs, throat, and respiratory system and still combat certain symptoms of COVID.
How To Purchase Marijuana
Cannabist in San Diego is among the finest dispensaries in the San Diego area that offers a hodgepodge of THC and CBD products that provide a gradual to fast acting relief of COVID symptoms. It’s like going to the doctor’s office, but far more pleasant and uplifting, and you don’t have to wait in a chair worrying whether you’ll rip the paper covering your seat! But really, this adult candy store for cannabis has all types of weed and strains–from sublingual drops to transdermal patches and edibles–that will help you get back to normal health in no time!
The budtenders at Cannabist are not only delightful, but also highly knowledgeable and there to assist you in finding the right strain and product to help your specific symptoms. The best part is that they offer delivery in case you’ve already caught the ‘vid and can’t leave the house. We highly recommend Cannabist for your next weed purchase–first timers and loyal customers alike are always eligible for discounts and daily deals!
Key Takeaways On Weed And COVID
To reiterate the question–”Does weed help with COVID?” The answer is yes! Does weed prevent COVID? Not necessarily, but research indicates that cannabis users are at lower risk of contracting the virus than nonusers.
Now, let’s run it back with what we learned…
- There are little to no widespread evidence-based treatment options to treat COVID. However, there is information regarding cannabis, and its correlation with COVID from smaller research studies.
- Weed can help with symptoms of COVID such as pain caused by inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, low energy, sleeplessness, and muscle stiffness
- Cannabis smokers are more at risk of getting COVID, so stick to sublingual drops, edibles, oils and topicals
- Cannabis can play a role as an immunomodulator which changes your body’s immune response in a beneficial way
- Weed has been proven to assist in reducing neuropathic pain caused by inflammation
- Inhaling cannabis smoke is not a good idea for COVID-19 patients, as it can aggravate a sore throat and respiratory issues.
While cannabis use is still a controversial topic, educating society on its beneficial properties may help decrease stigma around the plant and help sufferers of various ailments discover that they can alleviate certain symptoms with cannabis. We hope you found this article informative–take what you will with the information and see for yourself how cannabis can serve as a powerful plant medicine!
Media credits: Images of COVID-19 and weed concepts in this article are copyright of LaJolla.com.