Smoking cannabis can increase the risk of severe coronavirus symptoms, medics have warned.
Doctors say that even occasional cannabis use can weaken the body’s ability to fight the virus.
Senior medics in the US have urged the public to stop using the drug.
Dr Albert Rizzo, Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association (ALA) explained that cannabis causes inflammation in the lungs, which means an increased risk that infection will lead to complications.
Dr Mitchell Glass, also a pulmonologist and spokesperson for the ALA said medics find it more difficult to quickly diagnose a patient who smokes cannabis.
He added: “You don’t want to do anything that’s going to confound the ability of healthcare workers to make a rapid, accurate assessment of what’s going on with you”.
Jessica Hulsey, founder of the Addiction Policy Forum, said: “We need to make sure that these users are aware that marijuana is in essence an underlying health condition.”
Recovering cannabis users have shared how the drug damaged their lives, countering the myth that the substance is “innocuous”.
Several members of the Marijuana Anonymous rehabilitation programme – formed to support those battling addiction – spoke to US newspaper The Chicago Tribune.
Despite the dangers, pro-drugs campaigners in the UK regularly lobby for the legalisation of cannabis.