COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, and the government and health officials have their hands full. Offices and schools have been closed; the NBA and Tokyo Olympics schedules have been canceled, and overall, people are struggling. Fortunately, in many states, including California, announced that cannabis dispensaries are listed as 'essential' services and are still open for business. This is good news for medical marijuana patients, but also for those of us who consume cannabis during times of stress.
During an emergency situation such as the coronavirus, it's important to follow simple guidelines to stay safe. The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus that causes a highly infectious respiratory ailment that may cause a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. A person may have one or all of these symptoms and may also be completely asymptomatic. Usually, symptoms appear between 2-14 days after exposure.
COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person or via a contaminated surface, such as a desk or vape pen. To date, all 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19, and the majority have reported that the virus is spreading through community contact. A responsible cannabis user can avoid contamination and keep the virus from spreading by following these steps:
The virus can be transmitted when you come in contact with a sick person or touch an object and surfaces with the virus on it. So, it is best to avoid crowds as much as possible and keep indoors until the COVID-19 passes. For now, we need to live our lives online mostly, in order to stay safe.
Consuming marijuana during stressful times, can alleviate anxiety, stress, and even help manage depression. Seek out, or create, a cannabis group-sesh on Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime and enjoy your social group from afar.
It's common practice within the cannabis community to share vapes, joints, pipes, and bongs. Go to your local cannabis shop if you run out of weed. Your friends will give you the side-eye and give them a friendly elbow bump. Right now, it's time to avoid all puff-n-passes, for your safety and that of others.
Keep your cannabis gear clean by sterilizing all equipment with a high concentration of isopropyl alcohol and warm soap and water. The coronavirus can live on a surface for up to 2 weeks, if not longer.
COVID-19 is a new virus, and there is no vaccine available. Currently, only preventive measures can be done to stop the spread of the virus. No studies are linking the medicinal benefits of cannabis to treat coronavirus syndrome.
COVID-19 triggers respiratory disorder, which cannabis inhalation may aggravate. It is proven that smoking and vaping are associated with lung irritation, reduced immunity, and respiratory infections. Several medical practitioners have stated that these ways of ingesting cannabis may create more serious symptoms of COVID-19. If you contract the virus, stop smoking immediately.
Edibles, oils, and tinctures don't affect the lungs, so during this time, this may be a better option for consuming cannabis.
There is no shortage of disinformation on social media. The 'news' is abuzz with cures for the coronavirus. It's not surprising to hear CBD as one of the miracle cures because of its therapeutic effects. Currently, there is no cure for COVID-19, and there is no medical research on CBD and coronavirus.
Choose reliable sources of information during this pandemic.
Hands are busy touching many surfaces with bacteria, germs, and possibly the coronavirus. These can be transferred to the eyes, nose, and mouth, eventually entering your body and making you sick. Avoid touching your face whenever possible during this time.
Keep your hands clean by washing it thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub for at least 20 seconds to kill the virus. For added protection, use a hand sanitizer after washing with soap and water.
Social distancing reduces the amount of contact among people as they carry out their daily routine. This will cut the chances of picking up the disease and transferring it to others.
● Keep a 6 feet separation between yourself and anyone
● Work from home
● Stop populating bars, cafes, and malls
● Do your shopping when foot traffic is low
● Cancel events and social gatherings
● Avoid shaking hands, a wave or a smile will do
Be safe and stay healthy during this difficult time.
Author: Ian Baker, former budtender and manager of Happy Leaf Collective