8th October 2021
By Roland Sebestyén
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Fully vaccinated people who  have received a clinical diagnosis of cannabis use disorder (CUD) are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, according to new data published in the journal World Psychiatry.

NORML reports on the findings, curated by researchers at the US National Institutes of Health and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The data suggests that people with CUD could be in more danger of becoming infected with coronavirus compared with those without a diagnosis.

Cannabis use disorder is described as a dependence on cannabis, categorised by the continued use of cannabis despite evidence of significant impairment.

The study involved the analysis of a cohort of 579,372 fully vaccinated individuals who were fully vaccinated between December 2020 and August 2021 and had not contracted COVID-19 infection prior to vaccination.

It is reported that of the cohort, 30,183 patients were diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) while 549,189 participants had no SUD.

Among the fully vaccinated population with SUD, 7,802 patients had a diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder, 2,058 of cannabis use disorder, 1,011 of cocaine use disorder, 2,379 of opioid use disorder, and 21,941 of tobacco use disorder.

They reported a higher risk for breakthrough infection in patients who received the Pfizer-BioNTech than in those receiving the Moderna vaccine in the whole population of 579,372 vaccinated patients.

Researchers found that patients with SUD were, on average, significantly older and more likely to be male and have a generally poorer health condition.

The results are telling: the risk of 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 the non-SUD population.

The same numbers for those with alcohol use disorder (AUD), cocaine use disorder (CocaineUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) were 7.8%, 7.7% and 7.1%, respectively.

The researchers added that clinical trials and real-world studies have demonstrated that both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are highly effective for preventing COVID-19 infection and its severe outcomes – however, two recent reports showed that Pfizer-BioNTech may be less effective than Moderna vaccine during periods of Alpha and Delta variant prevalence.

For more details and insight, visit this link, where you can get access to the full study.

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