Can Cannabis Help Treat Symptoms Of COVID-19?

With many places still suffering through waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are contracting the virus and falling ill. The pandemic has claimed millions of lives, but for many who have caught COVID-19, symptoms of the viral infection have been less severe. For some of the lucky ones, symptoms have even been mild, able to be dealt with using at-home remedies.

Considering the potential grave consequences of the virus and the uncertainty as to how it will affect any given person, it can be anxiety-inducing to think about. However, being prepared if you do happen to come down with the illness can help you get through it.

What are some of the things you should do if you get sick with COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released guidelines on what a person should do if they get sick with COVID-19, and the first item on the list is to stay home. This is because the virus is highly contagious, and if you are sick, you don’t want to be spreading it to others. Even if your symptoms are mild, you can still pass it on to someone who may not be as lucky.

They CDC also suggests lots of rest and fluids. Since viruses are unable to be cured using antibiotics, it can be hard to get a medication that will fight the infection for you. It is typically up to your immune system. This is why making sure your immune system is ready for the fight is the best thing you can do, and that includes drinking lots of clear liquids, resting as much as possible, and eating as healthily as you can.

If you develop more serious symptoms, you should contact your doctor right away to determine whether you need to go to the hospital for care. 

medical marijuana plants outdoors
Image by Joel Muniz on Unsplash: Can cannabis help reduce the symptoms of a mild COVID-19 infection?

What medication can I take to reduce the symptoms of the coronavirus disease?

To reduce the symptoms of COVID-19, there are many over-the-counter medications available to you. For example, if one of your symptoms is a cough, you can take a cough suppressant and have cough lozenges handy to help cope with that symptom. Other over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen can help combat fever and pain associated with the infection. 

How to treat COVID-19 at home if you have mild symptoms

Treatment for COVID-19 at home is focused solely on managing symptoms. This is because the immune system needs to fight off the viral infection. To manage the symptoms at home, start by getting lots of rest. Sleep and immune function are closely linked, so ensuring that you’re getting enough quality sleep while you are ill will help your body fight off the illness. Pain relievers and fever reducers can also help to lessen symptoms; however, even if you take over-the-counter medications and start to feel better, it’s important that you continue to rest and isolate at home.

Adequate fluid intake is also important. Drinking clear fluids such as water or broths is best. Staying hydrated is vital to how well the body fights off the virus, because dehydration can worsen the function of the immune system.

medical marijuana infused tea
Image by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash: CBD may be a viable option when it comes to helping the body fight off a mild COVID-19 infection.

Cannabis and COVID-19

Although cannabis will not treat or cure COVID-19, some research has suggested that the use of cannabis can help to mitigate specific symptoms and help people cope with the infection. CBD, in particular, has been looked at as a possible option to help reduce the risk of the body developing a cytokine storm, a process that occurs when an overabundance of cytokines triggers an immune response where the body starts to attack itself and not the virus.

Other research has also looked into cannabis as a possible option to help reduce lung inflammation that could be caused by the virus, thus helping with lung function while battling the infection. Since cannabis has also been shown to help reduce pain and anxiety, it’s assumed that using cannabis while sick with COVID-19 may lead to a reduction in both those symptoms for those coping with the illness.

A final caveat that should be noted: smoking or vaping cannabis is not recommended for those who are ill with coronavirus. This is because both smoking and vaping have been shown to have negative effects on lung function, and by utilizing this method, you could end up doing more harm than good for your lungs while they try to recover. Using oils, nasal sprays, or topical applications is the best way to dose with cannabis when trying to deal with the symptoms of COVID-19. 

Featured image by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash