Washington, D.C. - The global COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered life around the world. The disease, which causes serious respiratory illness, requires that people of all ages avoid any and all behaviors which could increase the risk of transmitting or being exposed to the virus. The gravity of this pandemic demands that much of our routine conduct be altered, including cannabis consumption. Although we recognize that some patients may need to smoke or vape for medical conditions, Doctors For Drug Policy Reform (D4DPR), a global voice for health professionals who support cannabis legalization, strongly recommends use of oral consumption and topical application of cannabis, which are much safer alternatives to smoking and vaping during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the lack of extensive research prevents the organization from making definitive conclusions, the most current information supports the following:
It is also important to be aware that, although THC and CBD have palliative and immunomodulatory effects, neither have been shown to prevent, treat, or exacerbate COVID-19. Potency and onset time for oral products can vary significantly as compared to smoking or vaping cannabis. Therefore, DFCR encourages patients to “start low and go slow” to reduce risk of inadvertent overconsumption. If possible, medical cannabis patients should consult with a health professional before transitioning to alternative consumption methods. Patients with a consistent cannabinoid treatment regimen and are otherwise healthy are not advised to make extreme changes. Above all, the best way to prevent illness is to practice everyday preventive actions, such as social distancing and good personal health habits, to reduce risk of exposure to the virus. For more information on COVID-19 and safe cannabis consumption, please visit www.dfcr.org.
D4DPR serves as the global voice for physicians and other health professionals to advance the legalization and science-based regulation of cannabis. Through education and advocacy efforts, we leverage the influence and expertise of the medical community to realize the legislative changes necessary to promote improved public health, social justice, and consumer protections.