The internet can be a powerful tool and an unrivaled source of information. Unfortunately, though, it can just as readily be used as a source of misinformation. This is especially true in our contemporary post-truth age. But it's difficult to trust the things you read on the internet, for obvious reasons. In recent months, the world has been struggling with the most deadly pandemic in the past 100 years. As of this writing, COVID-19 has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of others around the world.
Yet, what started as a tongue-in-cheek meme is now making the round a serious claim. That is, the idea that smoking weed kills coronavirus. Chances are, you have seen this claim being thrown around on the internet, but is there any truth to it? It would be nice to think that weed smokers have a little extra benefit in preventing COVID-19, but is this benefit real or imagined? That is what we'll be looking to answer in this article, considering the amount of information on this topic is currently minimal. It's hard to tell if you can take these claims seriously or not at first glance. So, we've looked into it more closely for our readers.
At this point, it is almost impossible to dispute the medical benefits being associated with marijuana. Medical research is more or less finding that cannabis is, in fact, capable of offering several medicinal properties to its users. Whether it be for seizures, pain relief, cancer treatments, anxiety or PTSD, marijuana is finally being recognized for its potential as medicine. Given the context, it's not entirely out of the ordinary to imagine cannabis might also help treat symptoms of COVID-19. You may have heard that smoking weed may help prevent infections in the lungs or that THC could help defend against the most severe reactions to the virus.
Yet, are these just mere internet rumors, or is there some truth to this claim? As you would expect, the first thing we did was go on the hunt for any credible and well-founded claims. An assertion like this would require a few scientific studies, at least, for people to take it seriously. What we found were dozens of articles, all with vague theories and loose speculations. Many said things like, "may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy." Many articles noted that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and has the potential for pain and anxiety relief. This is why many speculate that cannabis could treat the symptoms of a virus such as COVID-19.
However, we could not find anything more than that; speculation. There is certainly no scientific evidence at the moment showing the weed can kill COVID-19. Conclusive and peer-reviewed research is still necessary to make any positive conclusions about weed and coronavirus.
Surely, if marijuana had some empirical link to coronavirus treatments, institutions like WHO or the CDC would make a statement on it, wouldn't they? Yes, they would. However, according to their website, the organization "does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19.”
This means that, unsurprisingly, WHO has made no official statement regarding cannabis products and their use as a treatment for COVID-19.
At the end of the day, there's still a whole lot we don't know or understand about COVID-19. And this includes if cannabis can be used, in any way, as a treatment for the virus. We didn't write this article to offer you any medical advice. Rather, we simply wanted to investigate the information that is currently circling the internet regarding this subject. It's not up to us whether or not some medical treatment is right for you, especially if we're talking about COVID-19.
What we can do, though, is offer you a word of caution on making any serious medical decisions based on dubious information found on the internet. There's too much disinformation out there to trust your health with an unsubstantiated rumor. But, cannabis-related COVID-19 claims are not the only ones that are circulating the internet. As the virus has spread throughout every inch of the globe, so too has misinformation, false claims, and outright lies. In fact, the WHO even has their own “Mythbusters” page on its website dedicated to tracking the most prominent of false coronavirus rumors. Some of the most notable of these are:
Unfortunately, as this article was written, over 2.5 million people have lost their lives to the virus. The COVID-19 virus is a deadly pathogen. Given the uncertainty of our times, it's understandable why you may be looking optimistically at medical marijuana. But, this doesn't mean that marijuana is actually effective at treating or preventing COVID-19. Certainly nothing in the scientific literature, as of yet, has produced anything that we can confidently point to as definitively showing a link between cannabis and coronavirus. Therefore, you should remain vigilant and, quite frankly, skeptical of any health claims you see on the internet concerning COVID-19 and marijuana.