Cannabis As A Treatment For COVID-19: Everything You Need To Know

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, medical researchers were scrambling to find the best way to treat the viral infection. With numbers rising and deaths beginning to accumulate, the race was on to ensure that as few people as possible experienced the worst possible fate after contracting the infection. With that research came various treatment options, some of which were shown to be viable, with others being deemed unsuitable.

One such treatment option that researchers have looked into is medical cannabis. With the therapeutic effects of cannabis well-studied in recent years, many claims behind cannabis treatment for various health conditions have been validated several times over. But can cannabis be used to help treat COVID-19?

Can cannabis help treat COVID-19?

Considering the sheer number of medical conditions medical cannabis has been proven to help treat symptoms of, it’s only natural that people may be wondering if it can help with COVID-19. Some studies have found that cannabis does in fact play a role in the healing of COVID-19. One study published in January 2021 found that its impact on something called a cytokine storm makes it a possible medicinal tool that can be used to help people with the infection.

A cytokine storm occurs when the immune system goes into hyperdrive to help fight off an infection. While that may seem to be a good thing, it’s actually detrimental to health and can cause worsened cases of COVID-19. When a cytokine storm occurs, the immune cells known as cytokines signal the immune system to fight harder. But it can fight so hard that it is unable to stop itself and ends up attacking healthy cells in the body. The immune cells can begin to affect the liver, cause blood clots to form, and cause the lungs to fill up with fluid. Since COVID-19 affects the lungs, a cytokine storm is not a good outcome for those who have the viral infection.

The aforementioned study looked at cannabis and how it could hinder the development of a cytokine storm, and found that it was able to reduce cytokine pathways that led to an increase in immune action, essentially blocking a cytokine storm from actually occurring. (It should be noted that since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, smoking cannabis is not recommended, as smoke can contribute to further lung damage.)

man wearing mask experiencing pain
Image by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash: CBD and COVID recovery may go hand-in-hand for the long-COVID symptom of chronic pain.

CBD and long COVID

Now that the virus has been around for a while, researchers are realizing that it can leave lasting effects. A condition known as “long COVID” is being used to describe the long-term health effects that can occur after a person has contracted and recovered from the initial infection.

Symptoms associated with long COVID include:

  • Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities
  • Brain fog
  • Coughing
  • Chronic pain in the chest, stomach, joints, muscles, or head
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pins and needles in the extremities
  • Mood changes
  • Dizziness upon standing
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Changes in smell or taste
  • Menstrual cycle disruptions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these symptoms can last for months following the initial infection.

While not all of these symptoms can be mitigated by CBD, research has shown that some can be helped. Chronic pain, for example, has been shown to be greatly reduced by the intake of CBD because of the way it affects serotonin, the chemical associated with happiness, joy, and feelings of wellbeing. Serotonin also plays a role in pain signaling.

cbd oil in dropper
Image by CRYSTALWEED Cannabis on Unsplash: What is the CBD dosage for COVID? Further research should give us more insight.

CBD has also shown to be effective at helping:

Because of the effects that cannabis has on things like chronic pain, sleep, and mood disorders, CBD could be a viable option in the management of the symptoms of long COVID. It can also be helpful in the recovery of COVID-19 by helping to lessen the severity of some of the symptoms. While more research is needed in this area, the studies produced so far show promising results when it comes to the use of cannabis and cannabinoid products to help treat and manage COVID-19 and the resulting health effects it can have on people.

Featured image by Jeff W on Unsplash

Could Cannabis Help Treat Coronavirus?

The coronavirus pandemic has hit populations hard all over the world. An alarmingly high number of deaths in many countries has led to researchers scrambling to find an effective treatment or cure for the disease.

One recent study conducted in Canada looked at whether marijuana might be an option for coronavirus treatment. So, could cannabis help treat coronavirus (COVID-19)? Read on for more information about this important study.

What’s the connection between cannabis and coronavirus?

The Canadian study examined the connection between hemp extracts high in CBD and whether they could help block proteins that allow COVID-19 to enter host cells. Their findings indicated that cannabis has the potential to reduce the virus’ entry points by up to 70%.

The researchers suggested looking at it this way: if a cell is like a building with many doors, the virus (untreated) is able to enter through so many of those doors. However, if some of those doors are blocked, the virus is less likely to be able to get through and attack the cell. This means cannabis just might offer some insight into how researchers can develop strategies for decreasing a person’s susceptibility to the disease.

There’s even the possibility that individuals who have already been diagnosed with COVID-19 might be able to use marijuana as an adjunct therapy to help them fight the virus. Thinking broadly, the study even offered that cannabis, in the future, could be used in some types of preventative treatments (such as in the form of mouthwash or throat gargle products so that the virus is even less likely to enter through the mouth).

Should you be rushing out to buy more cannabis?

It’s not a great idea to rely on marijuana for the purpose of coronavirus treatment just yet. A lot more research needs to be done on this therapy, including peer reviews and larger clinical trials, in order to get a full picture.

The Canadian study also indicates that not just any cannabis would help with COVID-19. Researchers determined that with more than 800 varieties of sativa on the market, only a few were actually useful in treating coronavirus. Additionally, the forms they studied were high in anti-inflammatory CBD but low in THC (which is what provides the patient with the cannabis high).

Basically, it won’t really do you any good to implement your own marijuana regimen as a means of preventing or treating COVID-19 at this time.

 

MMJRecs - covid-19 mask

Image by Julian Wan on Unsplash: You don’t need to rush to buy more marijuana – more studies need to be done about cannabis and coronavirus before anything is set in stone.

What about medical marijuana and coronavirus?

If you’re someone who already uses medical marijuana (MMJ) to treat a physical or emotional medical condition, you’re probably wondering, “Could MMJ help treat coronavirus?” The same information listed above applies – it’s just too soon to tell exactly how ingesting MMJ products could work to fight off the virus.

So, does cannabis help treat coronavirus symptoms? The study strongly suggests it might, but there’s not enough information to know exactly how you should take your MMJ products in order to avoid or treat the virus.

Should you keep using your MMJ products?

At this point, it should be fine for you to continue to use MMJ products to help with whatever symptoms you’re experiencing from other conditions. However, it’s crucial to note that some medical professionals think it could be dangerous to smoke or vape marijuana at this point.

Ingesting the product this way means your lungs could get irritated – which makes you much more susceptible to catching COVID-19 (and more likely to suffer from severe and/or dangerous symptoms). Consider using other forms such as tinctures, edibles, etc. that won’t cause any damage to your lungs, but will still allow you to get the benefits of cannabis that you need.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ products

Image by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash: You can keep using your MMJ products during the coronavirus.

How can you get an MMJ card?

If you don’t currently have an MMJ card, you can still apply for one during the coronavirus lockdown. That way you can treat whatever medical condition you already have while still getting any possible benefits that might help fight off COVID-19 (even if it’s a long shot).

If your state permits MMJ cards, you can apply for one by going through the government agency that handles the state’s MMJ program. The agency can also help guide you through the application process, which typically consists of a consultation with a physician who can verify that your symptoms would be alleviated through the use of medical marijuana.

At this point, researchers are working around the clock to find a treatment, vaccine, or cure for COVID-19 in an effort to slow or stop the spread of the disease. Because of this urgency, it’s likely that a lot more studies will be done to see how helpful cannabis might be in the coronavirus pandemic.

It doesn’t hurt you to continue to use your MMJ products as directed by your doctor. And in the meantime, it’s best to wait until more definitive research has been done on cannabis and coronavirus before you take it for any other treatment purposes.

Featured image by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Can Medical Cannabis Help Treat Lupus?

There are currently more than 240,000 people living with lupus in the US today. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own tissues and internal organs (including the brain, heart, and lungs). The inflammation caused by lupus results in patients experiencing chronic pain, tissue swelling and damage, and extreme fatigue. There is currently no cure for lupus, but some of the symptoms are treated with prescription medications, including corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. For people who don’t want to rely on medications that often come with significantly unpleasant side effects, or for whom medication is not effective, they’ve found they can treat Lupus symptoms with MMJ (medical marijuana). So, is it true that lupus patients and medical marijuana are a good match? Keep reading for more info about how cannabis can help treat lupus.

Can medical cannabis help lupus patients?

Lupus is often marked with periods of remission where symptoms are not as noticeable. But patients can experience what are called flare-ups, where their symptoms can be felt significantly (and which can lead to potentially debilitating physical issues). During these flare-ups, patients are often looking for any type of relief from the pain and discomfort they’re experiencing. To help combat these symptoms, doctors are always searching for what can be potentially helpful to lupus patients.

In recent years, researchers have found that cannabis helps in fighting inflammation that is present for lupus patients. It can decrease inflammation in the body by suppressing specific parts of the immune system. Cannabis actually lowers levels of interleukin-2 and raises interleukin-19 (an anti-inflammatory protein). Marijuana also has the added benefit of being able to alleviate pain, which is why so many patients with chronic pain are proponents of cannabis usage. Patients can ingest it in a number of different ways, and they often experiment to discover which strains and which forms help to give them the most relief from their lupus symptoms. These can range from edibles (like gummies) to tinctures or vaped liquids.

Does CBD produce the same effects?

CBD (cannabinoid) products are basically a component of marijuana that doesn’t have THC, which is the ingredient that makes you feel high. CBD has swept the country in recent years – you can find it in everything from oils and edibles to beauty products and caffeine drinks. Without the psychoactive effects, CBD can be used for a huge variety of reasons (including anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and chronic pain) without a person feeling high or unable to function.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ and CBD

Image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay: Hemp extract or CBD oil can be helpful in treating symptoms of lupus.

 

Researchers have begun to study the effects of CBD on lupus patients who are using it to reduce inflammation and decrease pain levels related to the condition. Although more research needs to be conducted, initial results seem to indicate that high levels of oral CBD can help alleviate some lupus symptoms in patients with the disease. Some researchers think that CBD products are the most effective when they’re used in combination with other marijuana compounds. This is known as the “entourage effect,” and many scientists note that taking an isolated chemical in pill form might be less effective than if a patient uses these products altogether. So, along with CBD products, the answer to “Can MMJ help lupus patients?” is yes!

Why is it useful to have an MMJ card?

If individuals want to try out CBD products, they don’t need any official documentation or intervention from a doctor. In fact, these products can be found in a ton of stores or online. However, if a person wants to obtain MMJ products, they’ll need an MMJ card, which can be obtained through MMJRecs. There are tons of benefits to owning a card (even if the person lives in a state where recreational marijuana is legal). For example, MMJ cardholders can:

  • Grow their own MMJ products at home
  • Possess more product at one time
  • Get tax benefits (like no sales tax in some states)
  • Have access to more licensed dispensaries

With an MMJ card, people are entitled to grow and possess more product so they can effectively treat their medical condition without having to worry about running out of the MMJ products they need.

MMJRecs - marijuana plant

Image by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash: Having an MMJ card means a person can grow their own cannabis plants.

How do I get an MMJ card?

A patient simply needs to have a qualifying medical condition in order to be eligible for an MMJ card. There are a large number of conditions that will qualify, ranging from eating disorders and cancer to glaucoma and chronic pain. To get started, MMJRecs can help by providing a complete doctor’s recommendation and an official MMJ card that can be shown at dispensaries or to law enforcement. It’s a super convenient way to obtain a card (without having to go through any government red tape) – and the entire process can be conducted online!

It’s important to remember that you should check with your doctor before starting to use any marijuana or CBD products, but if you’re wondering, “How can medical marijuana help lupus patients?”, you can always try this avenue of treatment to find out if you’ll be helped by MMJ or CBD products.

Featured image by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash

How To Stop Your Medical Marijuana Drying Out

Have you arrived home with your personal supply of medical marijuana but don’t know what to do with it all? Well, the obvious answer is to smoke it, but a common issue users face is how and where to store your medical marijuana when not in use. Fear not, as we give you the lowdown on how to maintain the potency of your marijuana and to ensure you still enjoy all the benefits that good quality medical marijuana offers. (more…)

Medical Cannabis: Can It Help Glaucoma?

In a classic episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David scores some ‘chronic’ from an LA street dealer (he should have found out how to get a medical marijuana card in California!) and ends up getting very, very high with his dad. The ensuing hilarious, tripped-out bathroom conversation between Larry and the bathroom mirror image of himself is a classic moment in American comedy history. The catalyst for picking up the weed in the first place was his desire to ease his old man’s painful glaucoma. But does medical cannabis really help glaucoma? And if so, how?
(more…)