April 28, 2020

Can Smoking Marijuana Increase Your Chances of Getting the Coronavirus?

The short answer from a pulmonologist

man smoking marijuana

Q: Can smoking marijuana increase your chances of getting the coronavirus?

A: This is a very good question because, in the United States, we seem to have a higher rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations among people who are under the age of 50 — much higher compared with other countries. One of the possible reasons could be that this country has higher rates of vaping and marijuana use. So, one hypothesis is that vaping or smoking cigarettes or marijuana could be one of the factors that put young people at risk of acquiring this infection.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

The body is smart enough to protect us from infections that are in the air. But vaping and smoking marijuana can suppress our natural defense systems. So, it is very possible that smoking marijuana could increase someone’s chances of getting infections such as COVID-19.

A lot of marijuana-derived vaping products are often modified at home to make them more intense. Because the ingredients are hard to track, this can be dangerous. We do know that smoking marijuana itself, like in a joint, can increase the risk of certain lung infections, especially fungal infections.

In general, the rule of thumb is that the lungs really need to breathe clean air. If you are inhaling a substance that contains THC or CBD for a supposed medical treatment, consider a more conventional option that doesn’t affect the lungs.


— Pulmonologist Humberto Choi, MD.

Related Articles

crowd of people at music concert
February 5, 2024
What Constitutes a ‘Superspreader Event’?

Any large social gathering — from a family birthday party to an indoor music concert — has the potential to spread serious infection

Male with eyes closed sitting hunched over, pinching area between their eyes
January 29, 2024
Headache and Fatigue: 11 Possible Causes That Can Trigger Both

Many factors, like dehydration, a cold or even your medication, can result in these common symptoms

Female wrapped in blanket laying on sofa looking fatigued or unwell
January 23, 2024
How To Manage COVID Fatigue and Regain Your Energy

It’s important to connect with a healthcare provider, get quality sleep and balance your activities with your energy levels

Sick person on couch using tissue on nose with medication bottles on coffee table
January 19, 2024
How To Know if It’s COVID-19, a Cold or Allergies

Symptoms can overlap and be hard to distinguish, but there are some telltale differences

Close-up of hands in lab gloves sorting vials and covid-19 blood sample
January 17, 2024
Everything You Need To Know About COVID-19 Variants

Just like the flu, COVID-19 will continue to evolve every year

Adult female on couch, coughing into crook of arm, holding thermometer
January 15, 2024
Prepping for Flurona: When COVID-19 and the Flu Strike at the Same Time

It’s best to treat flu-like symptoms as if you have COVID-19

positive COVID test with COVID virus molecules floating around it
December 20, 2023
How Long Does COVID-19 Last if You’re Vaccinated?

The duration varies, but symptoms can linger for a few days up to a couple weeks or more

Baby receiving a shot in their leg by healthcare worker in pink
December 6, 2023
COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids: What To Know and Why It’s Important

Children as young as 6 months should get vaccinated

Trending Topics

glass of cherry juice with cherries on table
Sleepy Girl Mocktail: What’s in It and Does It Really Make You Sleep Better?

This social media sleep hack with tart cherry juice and magnesium could be worth a try

Exercise and diet over three months is hard to accomplish.
Everything You Need To Know About the 75 Hard Challenge

Following five critical rules daily for 75 days may not be sustainable

Person in foreground standing in front of many presents with person in background holding gift bags.
What Is Love Bombing?

This form of psychological and emotional abuse is often disguised as excessive flattery