Study: Cannabis Consumers See Reduced COVID Mortality & Better Outcomes Than Non-Consumers

A recent study published in the peer-reviewed CHEST Journal found that cannabis consumers who contracted COVID-19 had reduced mortality and better outcomes compared to non-consumers.

Full story after the jump.

Cannabis consumers who contracted COVID-19 had reduced mortality and better outcomes compared to non-consumers, according to a study published this month in the CHEST Journal. The study, using the National Inpatient Sample Database, suggests “the beneficial effect of marijuana use may be attributed to its potential to inhibit viral entry into cells and prevent the release of proinflammatory cytokines, thus mitigating cytokine release syndrome.”  

According to the study, titled “Exploring the Relationship Between Marijuana Smoking and Covid-19 Outcomes,” cannabis consumers that had contacted Covid-19 had significantly lower rates of intubation (6.8% vs 12%), acute respiratory distress syndrome, (2.1% vs 6%), acute respiratory failure (25% vs 52.9%), severe sepsis with multiorgan failure (5.8% vs 12%), lower in-hospital cardiac arrest (1.2% vs 2.7%), and mortality (2.9% vs 13.5%).  

Out of 322,214 patients included in the study, 2,603 were cannabis consumers, which were described as younger and with a higher prevalence of tobacco use; however other comorbidities including obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus were more prevalent in individuals who did not consumer cannabis. 

A study published in August came to a similar conclusion, finding active cannabis consumers diagnosed with COVID-19 had better clinical outcomes than non-cannabis consumers, including the decreased need for ICU admission or mechanical ventilation. However, that study included just two hospitals in the Los Angeles, California area and included just 1,831 covid patients. Among those, just 69 reported active cannabis use, representing 4% of the total patients.  

A study published in May demonstrated that the cannabinoids could lower the production of two proteins – angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) and the serine protease TMPRSS2 – which are commonly hacked by the coronavirus to create a new infection. 

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