Experts Say “Smoking Cannabis Could Make The Lungs More Susceptible To COVID-19”
- Marijuana sales have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, but lung health experts warn smoking the substance could increase a person’s risk of getting COVID-19.
In the days and weeks leading up to stay-in-place orders and lockdowns, legal cannabis sales spiked.
Some studies and anecdotal reports suggest marijuana can help people cope with anxiety, which is being felt deeply across the world as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
But lung health experts warn that smoking marijuana regularly could increase a person’s risk of contracting COVID-19, and also having more severe symptoms and complications from the disease, given evidence on tobacco and COVID-19, and what we already know about how heavy marijuana-smoking can impact the lungs.
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Although there’s no data on marijuana use and COVID-19 patients, marijuana smokers — particularly ones who combine cannabis with tobacco — should be wary of their habits because of existing data on coronavirus patients in Italy and China, according to Dr. Barry J. Make, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health.
“From China and Italy, we see people who developed COVID-19 and had underlying lung disease, (they) have more complications and die more often,” Make said. “So this is the perfect time to stop smoking.”
Preliminary CDC data found that chronic lung diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, and emphysema, were common underlying conditions in hospitalized patients in the US.
The CDC was able to analyze 7,162 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and found that 656 of them, or 9.2%, reported having a chronic lung condition.
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