Cannabis as a treatment for COVID-19

treatment for COVID-19

Kevin William Simpson, CEO and Founder of OilsBySimpson, tells us about the growing evidence around cannabis as a treatment for COVID-19

Cannabis’s therapeutic effects have long been known, with cannabinoids like THC and CBD commonly used to treat various symptoms. But what effect does cannabis have on COVID-19?

Cannabis has evolved from that substance your parents warned you about that only hippies used. As research into cannabis’s therapeutic properties has developed, so has the mainstream use of cannabis products. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are prevalent because of their extensive therapeutic benefits and ease of use. With health benefits, including pain relief, improved anxiety, and reduced inflammation, it’s no wonder why cannabis products have soared in popularity.

Cannabis and COVID: Can it help?

With its impressive healing potential, you may be wondering if cannabis might be able to help fight the illness currently affecting the whole world – COVID-19. COVID-19 has resulted in millions of deaths, closed international borders, and caused economies to be on the brink of collapse. This contagious respiratory disease can leave you with a fever, feeling fatigued, and struggling to breathe. It can even be fatal. So can cannabis offer any help in the fight against COVID-19?

A recent study published in January of this year in the journal Aging has found that cannabis may offer some help for patients with COVID-19 (1).

Cannabis and the cytokine storm

One of the primary biological events that occur in patients with severe acute respiratory distress cases from COVID-19 is something called a “cytokine storm.” A cytokine storm is where the body experiences an extreme increase in proinflammatory cytokines. These cytokines are a category of proteins, and the cytokines involved in a cytokine storm lead to an increase in inflammation.

COVID-19 patients often suffer from lung fibrosis, a serious and untreatable condition that leaves lung tissue scarred and makes it more difficult for you to breathe. If a substance could stop the cytokine storm, it would be able to suppress inflammation, prevent lung fibrosis, and put COVID-19 patients in remission.

C.Sativa, a type of cannabis, was found in a cytokine storm study to reduce multiple cytokines and pathways related to inflammation and fibrosis. Two of the cytokines that C.Sativa reduced were TNFa and IL-6, which are thought to be the main targets when trying to block a COVID-19 cytokine storm and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Multiple studies support cannabis and its cytokine storm fighting properties

The Aging study isn’t the only piece of research that has concluded that cannabis shows an ability to block a cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients.

A 2020 mouse-model study found that CBD, an active cannabinoid compound found in cannabis, reduced proinflammatory cytokines and improved the clinical symptoms of mice with symptoms similar to COVID-19 (2).

The study suggests that CBD may work as part of the treatment of COVID-19 by reducing the cytokine storm and protecting lung tissue from inflammation.

How else could cannabis treat COVID-19?

Cannabis shows strong potential in reducing inflammation and scarring in patients with COVID-19, but how else could cannabis help patients with COVID-19?

Compounds in cannabis like CBD and THC have also shown promise in a range of other areas, including pain relief and treating anxiety. While these therapeutic benefits have not been investigated in patients with COVID-19, they could offer exciting areas of future study.

Pain relief

With symptoms of COVID-19, including body aches, sore throat, and headaches, pain relief would be welcome by many patients.

Cannabis has shown significant potential as a pain reliever, particularly from its ability to increase serotonin’s effects, a neurotransmitter that can induce pain relief (3, 4).


Finding out you have COVID-19 can be a stressful time for patients. Because of its highly infectious nature, patients are isolated from friends and family. The serious and scary nature of the illness can also take a serious toll on your mental health.

Compounds within cannabis have shown impressive anxiety-reducing qualities, particularly CBD. CBD is a cannabinoid compound that could help to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. CBD can increase serotonin activity and lower cortisol levels. Reducing these chemicals is essential for anxiety management as serotonin reduces anxiety, and cortisol is a stress hormone often found in higher levels in patients with anxiety and depression (5, 6, 7, 8).

In a 2019 double-blind placebo trial, CBD was also found to reduce anxiety in teenagers with social anxiety disorder (9).

Is inhaling cannabis smoke a good idea for COVID-19 patients?

While consuming cannabis is most commonly done by inhaling the smoke of cannabis flower, that is not the only way cannabis’s therapeutic compounds can be consumed. Most research involving cannabis uses oil extracts, like CBD oil.

Cannabis oil can be consumed through ingestion, vaping, nasal sprays, or topical application. Many delivery mechanisms don’t involve the lungs and leave out potentially harmful substances that come with smoke inhalation.

Final thoughts

Cannabis has shown a lot of potential in fighting against COVID-19, thanks largely to its anti-inflammatory properties. The recent study published in Aging shows that cannabis could significantly improve the condition of COVID-19 patients by reducing a cytokine storm and protecting lung tissue from inflammatory damage.

Research also shows that cannabis and its compounds hold other significant therapeutic properties, including pain relief and anxiety reduction. While these could offer relief to COVID-19 patients, research is needed into the pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing properties of cannabis on COVID-19 patients specifically before any conclusions could be drawn.

Although this recent research is exciting and shows the potential power of cannabis in the fight against COVID-19, always follow your doctor’s advice when managing COVID-19.


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  1. Hi. Ive been using cbd oil from green cat but they very costly. How much is your cbd oil and how many drops per night to help with sleep?

  2. I am a 54 yr old sa female and have been smoking cannabis for over 25yrs. I have NOT been ill once with anything in the past 20 yrs. I do believe it is by the grace of GOD and cannabis (natural herb HE created) Ingrid Baur

    • I have covid and love to smoke w shortness of breath it doent help but I guess the rillo papers are no good to use should I use regular old school joint papers

    • Nossa
      Eu também tenho 57 fumo a 37 e digo que sou conservada no canabis pois não tenho estrias celulite não tenho cabelos brancos nem nunca tingi peso 54 kg vivo de bem com a vida nunca tive nenhuma doença exceto uma bronquite alérgica e quando vou ao médico dentista falo logo que uso canabis e alguns médicos aprovam e outros recriminam e não são atualizados
      Em fins é isso mesmo
      E não vou parar
      Boa sorte .

  3. im 28 woman and for using as axiexty reducer and helps me relaxs it is a medicine to and if it really helps i give it a try. im grateful i dont got the C19 because i have kids and fam i dont want them get effected but i seen a difference with high risks factors that my town is high of its peak and im afraid i get it. prayin the world is saved… and hopefully weed becomes legal in all USA.

  4. I have covid and love to smoke w shortness of breath it doent help but I guess the rillo papers are no good to use should I use regular old school joint papers

  5. I am 77 years young and have NOT had even a headache or a cold, (nor do I wear spectacles) in 29 1/2 years after learning about the amazing power of forgiveness (I was given a brochure on a bus by a woman that gave information re Dr S I McMillen (His book “None of these diseases:) heling patients overcome all sorts of illness r=through forgiveness … sadly, the Medical Profession stopped him practicing and he went to Africa as a missionary.
    In November, 2020 Mayo Clinic (USA) published a report based on extensive trials and research that forgiveness lets your body “work as it should” and overcomes many illnesses (as Dr McMillen learnt in the 1970’s).
    Areas of health help per the Mayo Report are • Healthier relationships
    • Improved self-esteem
    * Greater spiritual and psychological well-being.
    * Improved mental health
    * Less anxiety, stress and hostility
    * Fewer symptoms of depression
    * Lower blood pressure
    * Improved heart health
    * A stronger immune system (?? dded by BVM – Plus Covid-19, viruses, colds, flu, etc.)
    * Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

    Key “Forgiveness” into your web browser to read the Mayo Report OR advise me of your e mail address I will will send it to you (plus some tips from my life experiences.)

    The “big benefit” in or hurting and hurtful world is “better relationships” which leads to a better life for all.

    I am from Queensland, Australia

    • Dear Brian, greetings. Thank you very much for your offer to help people who are interested in forgiveness. I am persuaded that this life is a school for our soul so everytime that I come close to The Truth, I want to learn more about it. I would appreciate it if you could enlighten me. May God or The Truth return your kindness. Love

  6. It is interesting what to test for in cannabis samples in order to define what is really effective in cytokine storm reduction? I looked into excellent MCR Labs (Framingham) free reports collection for different canna-oil products for C. sativa and I see huge dispersion in CBD and terpenes contents in samples. Some “CBD oils” do not even have any significant cannabidiol contents. Some do not even have Δ8-THC. What do “full spectrum oil” possess that “relax and focus oil” does not?

  7. I completely agree with what you have written. I hope this post could reach more people as this was truly an interesting post.

  8. I have Covid-19 and finding cannabis extremely helpful. I vape it and haven’t changed consumption methods, though the vapor from my dab was a bit rough at first. After that passed, I ended up in a lot of relief in my lungs as well as the other forms of relief typical of cannabis.

  9. COVID-19 patients often suffer from lung fibrosis, a serious and untreatable condition that leaves lung tissue scarred and makes it more difficult for you to breathe. If a substance could stop the cytokine storm, it would be able to suppress inflammation, prevent lung fibrosis, and put COVID-19 patients in remission.

  10. I am just hearing of this also have fibro I never could have imagined any research on this in my lifetime Great news.


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