Cannabis Use Associated with Better Covid-19 Outcomes Among Hospitalised Patients

by Marijuana Staff

A new study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research suggests that cannabis use may have a protective benefit for Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalisation. Researchers analysed data from the 2020 National Inpatient Sample database.

The study covered 27 million hospitalizations.

The study found that among all hospitalisations, just 1.56% of cannabis users were admitted for Covid-19, compared to 6.29% of non-users. For those hospitalised with Covid-19, cannabis use was associated with significantly lower odds of death (2.87% vs. 13.52%), need for mechanical ventilation, and acute pulmonary embolism.

Cannabis users had lower Covid-19 mortality.

After using propensity score matching to account for confounding factors, the researchers determined that active cannabis use was associated with an 83.97% lower risk of death from Covid-19. Active cannabis users also had lower odds of requiring mechanical ventilation (18.93% reduced odds) and developing acute pulmonary embolism (43% reduced odds).

The endocannabinoid system may modulate severe Covid-19.

The researchers hypothesise that the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is modulated by cannabis compounds like THC and CBD, may play a key role in regulating the inflammatory response and mitigating severe Covid-19 disease. Previous studies have shown cannabinoids can induce apoptosis, suppress cell proliferation, shift the immune response from Th1 to Th2, and induce anti-inflammatory cytokine production.

Findings suggest the endocannabinoid system may represent a viable target for modulating moderate and severe Covid-19 disease.

However, they caution that additional prospective clinical studies are needed to validate these findings and further explore the mechanisms involved.

The study adds to a growing body of evidence highlighting potential therapeutic applications of cannabis and cannabinoid compounds. As cannabis legalisation expands across the world, the authors emphasise the importance of further investigating these implications for patient outcomes.

Researchers analysed nationwide inpatient data from 2020. They found cannabis use was tied to better Covid-19 outcomes. After accounting for confounders, active cannabis use reduced death risk by 84%.

The study hypothesises that compounds in cannabis like THC and CBD, which modulate the endocannabinoid system, may dampen inflammatory responses that drive severe Covid-19 disease progression; this aligns with prior research showing cannabinoids can induce apoptosis, shift immune responses, and reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, though the exact mechanisms require further investigation.

Study link.

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