Study Discovers Cannabis Users Infected by COVID-19 Experienced ‘Better Outcomes and Mortality’ Than Non-cannabis Users

A study found that cannabis users that were infected by the COVID-19 virus, experienced ‘better outcomes and mortality’ than non-cannabis users.

A recent study presented at the annual conference of The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) in Honolulu, Hawaii, discovered that cannabis users who were infected by the COVID-19 virus experienced lower rates of mortality, intubation, and respiratory failure than individuals who do not consume cannabis (1).

“Marijuana users had better outcomes and mortality compared to non-users,” the study mentions and suggests that benefits seen from the research may come from the cannabis plants’ (1), “potential to inhibit viral entry into cells and prevent the release of proinflammatory cytokines.”

“The significant decrease in mortality and complications warrants further investigation of the association between marijuana use and COVID-19,” the study stated (1).

The study was published in a CHEST Journal supplement (1). The authors of the study hosted a presentation at the annual CHEST conference, as well as a poster detailing research data.

To gather all of the information needed, researchers sifted through the records of 322,214 patients from the National Inpatient Sample, which is a government database that keeps record of hospital utilizations and other situations (1). From these files, less than 1 percent, 2,603 patients, disclosed that they used cannabis. It also showed that reported cannabis users “were younger and had higher prevalence of tobacco use” (1). Non-cannabis users however, experienced higher likelihood of other health risks. For example, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and sleep apnea.

As mentioned in Marijuana Moment, there were lower chances for health complications for cannabis users (1), “On univariate analysis, marijuana users had significantly lower rates of intubation (6.8% vs 12%), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (2.1% vs 6%), acute respiratory failure (25% vs 52.9%) and severe sepsis with multiorgan failure (5.8% vs 12%). They also had lower in-hospital cardiac arrest (1.2% vs 2.7%) and mortality (2.9% vs 13.5%).”

The team of researchers discovered through using a 1:1 matching analysis which correlated cannabis users to non-cannabis users via gender, age, race, “and 17 other comorbidities including chronic lung disease,” (1), that cannabis users did not experience higher risk of acute respiratory failure, intubation, severe sepsis with multiorgan failure, and mortality. Excluded from the data were patients under the age of 18 and patients that were missing information in the database.

Lastly the study explained (1), “there remains a significant gap in our understanding of the potential impact of marijuana use on COVID-19.”

With this new research, hopefully it can benefit and inspire new studies on cannabis and its potential to help in the fight against COVID-19.


  1. Adlin, B. Marijuana Consumers Who Caught COVID Had ‘Better Outcomes and Mortality’ Than Nonusers, Study Finds (accessed Oct 13, 2023).


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