Whatever anxieties you may have harboured about smoking weed or taking CBD affecting the efficacy of your Covid-19 vaccination jab – relax, it won’t do no harm. United States health experts say they aren’t seeing evidence showing a detriment to using cannabis pre- or post-vaccination.
Dr. Frank Lucido, a medical cannabis specialist based in Berkeley, California, worries about lung illness from severe COVID, not vaccine/weed interactions, he told Leafly on 8 June 2021.
Cannabis users need not be ultra-cautious about Covid jab
If people are sticking to their regular cannabis consumption habits, Dr Lucido said he did not see a reason to be ultra-cautious around using cannabis as the body generates protective levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus.
Certified California Nurse Practitioner Eloise Theisen, president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and chief nursing officer for Leaf 411, said the Leaf 411 hotline has had an uptick in questions surrounding the COVID vaccine and safety uses associated with CBD and cannabis use.
“As far as cannabis goes, we know that cannabinoids can stay in the system for 5-13 days depending on the frequency of use,” the organization said through a written response. “If you are using cannabis daily and it is necessary, please continue using it… If you are new to cannabis and have just received your vaccine, please wait 24 hours before starting a new cannabinoid treatment plan and be sure to talk with your healthcare professional to review your treatment plan.”
Anecdotal evidence also points towards cannabis use pre or post-vaccination being OK. Over 301 million Americans have received a dose and the number of new COVID cases continues to decline, demonstrating the vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of Americans who regularly enjoy marijuana – and alcohol for that matter – have vaccine immunity to this deadly new pathogen. Vaccines’ rare side effects stand in contrast to a global pandemic killing about 600 Americans per day; with variants on the rise.
Mara Gordon, who has created therapeutic cannabis dosing regimens for thousands of patients worldwide through her company Aunt Zelda’s, said high-dose patients might want to reduce use during vaccination.
“There is an immune response, obviously, with cannabinoid-based medicine, but I think using it at normal doses should be just fine,” she says. “People that are on extremely high doses, like over 100 milligrams of CBD and stuff like that, I think they should probably wait a while if they can, but none of our doctors have told us that we need to cut back on any of the medicine we’re recommending or that we’re giving patients.”
Over the counter anti-inflammatories worse than CBD remedies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines for people who’ve been newly vaccinated that recommend talking to your doctor about using over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen for vaccine side effects. This is because these medications, which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may dampen the production of protective antibodies.
But Gordon says while cannabis, like NSAIDs, does have anti-inflammatory properties, the impact of cannabis isn’t something to worry about compared to that of over-the-counter drugs. She dabbed high doses of THC in the evening after receiving her shot and applied a topical to deal with the pain in her arm.
“You want to have the body have a bit of an immune response that’s how the vaccines work by having some sort of inflammatory event, so you don’t want to use too much anti-inflammatory,” Gordon says.
You are not going to feel like going out and partying anyway,” Gordon says of the experience of getting the vaccine.
While there are still many unknowns ahead in terms of defeating COVID-19, with no reports of adverse health effects from the millions of vaccinated Americans who also use cannabis, those who love the leaf can feel safe in staying high – and hydrated – after getting the jab.