In this week’s cannabis news round-up, a new study reveals cannabis consumers beat COVID-19 with lower mortality and faster recovery; law enforcement made over 227,000 cannabis arrests in 2022; and the Grateful Dead and G Pen collaborate on first official cannabis vaporizer.
Mortality, Faster Recovery
A recent study published in the CHEST Journal has found that cannabis consumers who contracted COVID-19 had reduced mortality and better outcomes compared to non-consumers. The study, which used the National Inpatient Sample Database, suggests that cannabis may have helped by blocking the virus from entering cells and reducing harmful inflammation.
According to the study, cannabis consumers who had contracted COVID-19 had significantly lower rates of intubation, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute respiratory failure (ARF), severe sepsis with multiorgan failure, in-hospital cardiac arrest and mortality compared to non-consumers. Specifically, the rates of these complications were 6.8% vs. 12% for intubation, 2.1% vs. 6% for ARDS, 25% vs. 52.9% for ARF, 5.8% vs. 12% for severe sepsis with multiorgan failure, 1.2% vs 2.7% for in-hospital cardiac arrest and 2.9% vs 13.5% for mortality.
Among the 322,214 patients in the study, 2,603 used cannabis. Cannabis users were generally younger and more likely to smoke tobacco. On the other hand, non-users had higher rates of conditions, including sleep apnea, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
These results match a study from May 2020 that found that cannabinoids can reduce two key proteins, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, which the coronavirus uses to infect cells. Another previous study from August 2022 showed that COVID-19 patients who used cannabis had better outcomes, including fewer ICU stays and less need for mechanical ventilation.