Cannabis and lower COVID-related hospitalizations: is there a connection? Here’s what a new study has found
A new study found that “cannabis use is associated with less severity of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients”.
According to the researchers, “Cannabis may in fact lead to reduced disease severity and better outcomes despite five times higher concurrent tobacco use among cannabis users compared to non-users in our study population. “.
The researchers aimed to assess whether cannabis users hospitalized with COVID-19 had better outcomes compared to nonusers.
The study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research have shown that cannabis users had better outcomes, including a decreased need for ICU admission or mechanical ventilation.
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“Cannabis users had significantly better outcomes compared to nonusers, as evidenced by lower NIH scores (5.1 vs. 6.0), shorter hospital stays (4 days vs. 6 days), rates of lower ICU admission (12% vs. 31%), and less need for mechanical ventilation (6% vs. 17%),” the study continued. “ICU admission was 12 percentage points lower and intubation rates were 6 percentage points lower among cannabis users.”
About the study
The authors stated that “the best results may be due to the medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory effects, of certain cannabinoids.”
The researchers noted that the link between cannabis use and better COVID outcomes makes sense.
“Of the 1,831 COVID patients in the study, 69 patients reported active cannabis use, which was only 4% of the total number of patients,” said the study, conducted at two California hospitals. “It is important to emphasize that the differences in overall survival were not statistically significant between cannabis users and non-users.”
The method used retrospective analysis of patient data, which included comparison of NIH COVID-19 severity scores, need for supplemental oxygen, intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, duration of hospitalization and in-hospital death for cannabis users and non-users. .
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“Given the diverse ways in which cannabis can be introduced into the body, our grouping of inhaled and ingested cannabis should introduce little variability into an already highly variable cohort of cannabis users,” explains the consumption methods study. .
“Grouping all cannabis users, regardless of method of administration, gives our study more power in the analysis while minimizing the risk of overadjusted data.”
The study concluded that “cannabis users were more likely to have lower levels of inflammatory markers at admission compared to nonusers. This effect was maintained during their hospital course, with cannabis users continuing to have lower inflammatory markers than non-users.
Additionally, the researchers said, “This is the first study to examine the clinical outcomes of cannabis users hospitalized with COVID-19.”
However, the authors concluded that “further studies, including prospective analyses, will help to better understand the relationship between cannabis and COVID-19 results.
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been republished with permission.