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Are weed smokers more at risk of getting coronavirus?

We know that elderly people and those with existing health problems are more at risk of dying from Covid-19, but we have bad news for fellow lovers of the herb: early evidence from China suggests that people who smoke are more likely to get seriously sick and die than non-smokers.

Let’s get some facts out of the way first: there is absolutely no research that looks directly at links between cannabis and coronavirus. We don’t know for sure if using cannabis makes you more or less likely to get infected, or if cannabis helps or harms people who already have Covid-19. The virus is still too new for this type of research to exist.

Here’s what we do know: Covid-19 is respiratory illness caused by a virus that damages lung tissue. We also know that long-term smoking or vaping damages lungs and makes them more vulnerable to respiratory diseases like Covid-19.

A small study of Covid-19 patients in Wuhan, China, showed that those who progressed into very severe illness were much more likely to have a history of smoking. 

Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, has called on the public to stop smoking and vaping to reduce their risk. “The odds of disease progression (including to death) were 14 times higher among people with a history of smoking,” he says.

Medical experts have noted that smoking weed is an irritant to the airways, and that doesn’t bode well when you need your lungs to be at the top of their game.

Dr Mark Kalina, a medical doctor in California, says: “Marijuana can lead to a chronic cough when smoked regularly—smoke of any kind is irritating to the airways. As COVID-19 affects the lungs primarily, this is a particularly good time to be at one’s peak capacities in terms of the immune system and respiratory capacity.”

But here in SA, we’re all stuck at home in lockdown and being April 2020, it’s 4/20 all month long. Cannabis is a great way to take the edge of anxiety – did you know that Zootly is still selling our CBD oil as an essential service throughout the lockdown?

We recommend that you kick the smokes and eat your weed instead until the pandemic blows over. Check out our delicious recipes here.

If no amount of global pandemic is going to persuade you to park the blunts for now, then at least make sure you observe physical distancing while smoking and don’t share your spliffs!

Zootly says: There are many delicious and potent ways to consume cannabis. When there’s a highly contagious respiratory disease sweeping the globe, be wise and don’t compromise your lungs!

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