Is Cannabis Use Associated With Pulmonary Disease And COVID-19?

A new study using data from 500 thousand participants is shedding light on the effects of smoking cannabis on the lungs of users.

In a new study released this week, researchers used data from UK Biobank (UKB) to evaluate the effect of cannabis on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection and to determine whether cannabis lung damage might facilitate COVID-19 infection in formerly regular users.

The UKB study -a prospective observational study comprising about 500,000 men and women from across England, Wales and Scotland, between 2006 and 2010. Included in the study were all UKB subjects who had cannabis-use data, COVID-19 test data, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) data.

From March 16 to April 26, 2020, the electronic linkage between UKB records and National Health Service COVID-19 laboratory test results in England was made available.

The study results said that cannabis can produce lung diseases with increasing years of use, and cause weakening in the immune system, leading to pneumonia. In addition, researchers said that heavy use of cannabis can result in airway obstruction and worse COVID-19 outcomes.

"As soon as a tobacco smoker quits, his chances are diminished of getting cancer and other diseases. Our findings imply that cannabis may be similar. Fifteen years after quitting tobacco, the risk of coronary heart disease is close to that of a nonsmoker. Unlike the heart, the lung does not forget the insult from inhaled tobacco or cannabis, even many years later, but after quitting the lung damage may not further increase," the researchers said.

In 2012, a study stated that occasional and low cumulative marijuana use was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function. At the time, researchers concluded that cannabis use did not cause loss of air flow rate and lung volume. 

However, the latest study concluded that cannabis use might reduce lung inflammation and inhibit viral replication in Covid-19 infections, leading to a better outcome.
Photo By Louis Reed On Unsplash

Posted In: Covid-19National Health Service COVID-19UK BiobankCannabisMarkets

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.