Does cannabis interact with a COVID shot?
After more than a year of isolation, the COVID-19 vaccines herald a normal life and cause for celebration.
And while many wonder if it’s okay to have a celebratory drink after vaccination, what about those of us who celebrate major milestones with cannabis?
The vaccine studies haven’t ruled out or tracked cannabinoid use status, but several experts say there is no proof the vaccine interacts poorly with alcohol or marijuana. Anecdotal evidence also suggests cannabis use is okay before or after vaccination. Nearly 301 million Americans received a dose and the number of new COVID cases continues to decline, showing that the vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of Americans who regularly enjoy marijuana are vaccinated against this deadly new pathogen. The rare side effects of vaccines contrast with a global pandemic homicide 600 Americans a day; with variants on the advance.
It is critical that people protect themselves and their communities, but the anti-vax sentiment lurks in the cannabis community, just as it does in broader society. Weed lover Joe Rogan went back with comments that younger people should avoid the vaccine. In reality, heavy cannabis users report getting vaccinated less often, a survey from 2021 shows.
Stick to the routine
Health experts say they see no evidence that using cannabis before or after vaccination is detrimental.
Dr. Frank Lucido, a medical cannabis specialist based in Berkeley, Calif., Is concerned about lung disease from severe COVID, not vaccine-weed interactions, he told Leafly.
If people stick to their regular cannabis use habits, Lucido sees no reason to be extremely careful when using cannabis as the body creates protective levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus.
Registered Californian nurse Eloise Theisen, president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and chief nurse officer of Leaf 411, said the Leaf 411 hotline had seen an increase in questions about the COVID vaccine and safety use related to CBD and cannabis use.
“If you consume cannabis daily and this is necessary, please keep using it …”
Eloise Thiesen, registered nurse, on sheet 411
“When it comes to cannabis, we know that cannabinoids can remain in the system for 5-13 days depending on the frequency of use,” the organization said in a written response. “If you use cannabis on a daily basis and you need to 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 speak to yours.” Doctor to review your treatment plan. “
I was quite nervous about the experience of getting my first vaccine at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, so I took a CBD tincture beforehand to relax.
Megan Dooley Fisher, who works as the Garden Society’s brand ambassador, also didn’t venture out on her COVID vaccines with a conscious plan to change her cannabis use habits. She smoked and vaporized cannabis after her vaccination doses.
“That would have been my normal,” she says.
Leafly editor-in-chief David Downs reported typical THC consumption during vaccination in April-May. Side effects? Mild pain at the injection site for a day.
Tolerance breaks are also welcome
Medical writer, author, and spokesman Uwe Blesching also said he hasn’t seen any studies related to cannabis use that make the body’s immune response less effective after vaccination. But if you want, slow it down a little.
Mara Gordon, who through her company Aunt Zelda’s has developed therapeutic cannabis dosing regimens for thousands of patients worldwide, said high dose patients may want to reduce their use during vaccination.
“Of course there is an immune response with cannabinoid-based drugs, but I think using it in normal doses should be fine,” she says. “People who take extremely high doses like over 100 milligrams of CBD and the like should wait a while if they can, in my opinion, but none of our doctors have told us that we need to cut back on drugs that we recommend or that we patients administer.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published guidelines for newly vaccinated individuals recommending talking to your doctor about using over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen for vaccine side effects. This is because these drugs, which are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can dampen the production of protective antibodies.
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But Gordon says that while cannabis, like NSAIDs, has anti-inflammatory properties, the effects of cannabis compared to that of over-the-counter drugs are nothing to worry about. She dabbed off large doses of THC in the evening after receiving her injection and applied a topical to relieve the pain in her arm.
“You want the body to have some immune response, that’s how the vaccines work by having some sort of inflammatory event, so you shouldn’t be using too many anti-inflammatory drugs,” says Gordon.
A short break from the party
Leland Radovanovic, who runs cannabis and psychedelic public relations firm Conscious Communications Collective, says he wasn’t very concerned about his cannabis use at the time of vaccination. The Berkshires, MA, daily cannabis user also vaporizes nicotine on a regular basis and said his cannabis use decreased after his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The first vaccine I got hit me very, very hard,” he says. “I was super lethargic for a week, really foggy. I was having a really hard time putting a series of thoughts together, and I could only work for maybe 15, 20 minutes at a time. My [cannabis] Consumption was pretty low that week just because I didn’t even have the energy to use. “
This will all be checked as the vaccine side effects include symptoms such as fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea.
“You won’t feel like going out and partying anyway.”
Mara Gordon, Founder, Aunt Zeldas
“You won’t feel like going out and partying anyway,” says Gordon of the experience of getting the vaccine.
After receiving his second dose, Radovanovic said he was feeling pretty good and planned to return to his normal cannabis use routine, which included vaping and edibles.
While there are still many unknowns about how to fight COVID-19 with no reports of negative health effects from the millions of vaccinated Americans who also use cannabis, those who love the leaf can feel safe after following stay jab high and hydrated.
Ellen Holland is an Oakland-based journalist who has been writing about cannabis since 2013. As the former editor-in-chief of Cannabis Now magazine, her new book “Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide” will be published in October.
View article by Ellen Holland