Recreative marijuana risks vs. cannabinoids utility in COVID-19
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Introduction: the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic has caused a crisis in the health sector due to the lack of medical and pharmacological resources to treat the COVID-19 disease. Recent findings have shown that some compounds isolated from cannabis can reduce the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 virus into host cells, and prevent the proinflammatory cytokine storm, which is why they are considered drugs with potential for the treatment of COVID-19. On the other hand, frequent or chronic recreational use of cannabis may facilitate SARS-CoV-2 infection by depressing the immune system but also promote proinflammatory cytokine storm, worsening the disease.
Objective: to discuss the proposed mechanisms of action of cannabinoids in the treatment of COVID-19 and the difference between the immunological effects produced by the chronic recreational use of marijuana and the pharmacological use of the isolated and purified compounds of cannabis for the treatment of this disease.
Method: the most recent scientific articles published in PubMed were browsed, in which the effects of cannabinoids in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 virus were studied, as well as articles about the effects of chronic cannabis use on the immune system.
Discussion and conclusions: high and frequent use of marijuana could worsen the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, while the use of isolated and purified compounds can attenuate COVID-19 disease.
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