Following England’s Chief Medical Officer’s statement that smokers have an additional health vulnerability to COVID-19, it is worth seriously avoiding any urges to smoke marijuana/weed to ease anxiety during this global pandemic.
Smoking of any kind, tobacco, marijuana or vaping causes inflammation to the lungs even after very occasional use. Daily use can cause severe damage, mimicking the effects of chronic bronchitis. Also, smoking marijuana daily means the lungs will end up resembling someone with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). This will further lead to an increased risk of medical complications when a smoker contracts the disease as their lungs aren’t likely to be strong enough, due to existing damage, to fight off the COVID-19 virus.
Increased risk of respiratory infections
Although studies haven’t concluded a specific link between smokers more susceptible to contracting the disease, experts agree that generally damages the immune system and therefore the body’s ability to fight off respiratory infections such as the current pandemic.
Dr Stanton Glantz from the UCSF Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Education said: “smoking and vaping depress immune function in your lungs.”
A dry cough is a key sign of COVID-19, any cough caused by smoking a joint of weed will be both confusing for the patient and medical team. A person may not recognise that they potentially have the virus, meaning they are more likely to unknowingly spread by not self-isolating.
The effect of smoking on the body has is tiny hairs inside the airways and lungs called cilia, are often damaged by the toxic chemicals in smoke. These are a vital function in moving mucus, inhaled debris and potentially infections out of the airways and lungs before an infection takes hold and compromises breathing.
This makes all smokers, those with existing lung disease and asthmatics the highest risk of becoming severely ill from contracting COVID-19. The complications can lead to requiring hospital ventilation to breathe, and sadly in some cases fatality.
Impact on diagnosing COVID-19
It can also make diagnosis difficult as it can mimic virus’ symptoms including a dry cough and change in behaviour. This results in it being confusing for family members to identify if you are sick or if it is the effect of smoking as they will be very similar.
Smoking marijuana can also raise the issue of giving informed consent and having a clear head if faced with a medical emergency such as needing to call an ambulance or following health workers instructions accurately.
Doctors and Nurses are advising suspected COVID-19 patients to be honest about their weed consumption, so they can factor in any symptoms and understand how it may impact you both physically and mentally.
During this uncertain time, it is best to lead a healthy lifestyle to support your immune system including getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and remaining as active as you can. It is not worth taking the risk to your health by smoking cannabis at all, but especially with the added risks and complications associated with COVID-19.
Marijuana addiction rehabilibation centre
If you or someone you love is addicted to marijuana/ weed, please get in contact with New Leaf Recovery. We are a rehabilitation centre for those with all types of addictions including weed. Our team are here to help and support you overcome your addiction.
Call us today on 0300 999 0330.