Vaccinated, habitual marijuana users more likely to catch COVID-19, new study finds
A new study published in the World Psychology journal last week concluded that people who habitually use marijuana are more susceptible to breakthrough COVID-19 cases than people who do not engage in cannabis use at all. A breakthrough COVID case is defined as a case where the infected person was previously vaccinated. Researchers examined people with substance use disorders (SUDs), including substances such as marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, tobacco and opiates.
Those who were vaccinated and don’t have substance abuse problems saw only a 3.6% chance of a breakthrough case, while those suffering from SUDs saw their odds nearly double to 7%. The highest risk was observed in those who habitually smoke marijuana, who saw their chances of a breakthrough case rise to 7.8%.
Patients with “cannabis use disorder” tended to be younger and had less comorbidities. Though more susceptible to an infection than those who don’t smoke cannabis, they are less likely to suffer from severe side effects. Being vaccinated further protects those in the younger populations that aren’t really at-risk of death. The rate of being infected for unvaccinated people who do not suffer from SUDs is still much higher than those who are vaccinated and suffer from SUDs.
Morgan Fox, who acts as media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association made note that the scope of the study was individuals with “cannabis consumption patterns,” and failed to observe responsible marijuana users. She argues that marijuana users who would qualify as having SUDs are a very small sample of a much larger population.
Fox encourages more study and research into the correlation between vaccinated marijuana users and their probability of getting infected, but suggests that this could be the obvious results of marijuana users’ behaviors. For example, cannabis smokers tend to share joints, blunts, and pipes with others who could be asymptomatic, but infected. You can see this from their uploaded marijuana videos of themselves sharing cannabis with their friends. Fox fears that the results of the study are being overstated and misrepresent a population of responsible cannabis users.