Marijuana Causes COVID?


Smoking marijuana could lead to breakthrough COVID cases, study finds
Heavy marijuana users who are also vaccinated may be more susceptible to breakthrough cases of COVID-19, a new study found.

Not so fast. I noticed this was based on a paper in World Psychology. It’s been my experience that psych papers tend be even worse than “claimate change” research. Let’s take a look at the paper.

Among SUD patients, the risk for breakthrough infection ranged from 6.8% for tobacco use disorder to 7.8% for cannabis use disorder, all significantly higher than the 3.6% in non-SUD population (p<0.001). Breakthrough infection risk remained significantly higher after controlling for demographics (age, gender, ethnicity) and vaccine types for all SUD subtypes, except for tobacco use disorder, and was highest for cocaine and cannabis use disorders

OK, they found something. But the factors they controlled for to get that result seems a little… limited. Oh wait.

When we matched SUD and non-SUD individuals for lifetime comorbidities and adverse socioeconomic determinants of health, the risk for breakthrough infection no longer differed between these populations, except for patients with cannabis use disorder, who remained at increased risk (HR=1.55, 95% CI: 1.22-1.99).

So when they controlled for poor health and poverty, the differences mostly go away. Marijuana use still shows a slightly higher risk, but not double that of non-users.

So they didn’t really find much of a link between marijuana use and COVID. They found a link with poverty and poor health, which hardly comes as a surprise.

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