During the COVID-19 pandemic, you should look after your respiratory health. Most fatalities have occurred among people who are health compromised. So, if you have suffered chest congestion due to smoking, you may want to change your method of cannabis consumption.
The statistics are too young to draw indisputable conclusions. Nonetheless, some observers have noticed an uptick in infection among young people in the U.S. With no other evidence, commentators have seen a coincidence between these numbers and the popularity of vaping among U.S. young people. But wait a minute!
No one has reported a correlation between cannabis use on the one hand and infections and fatalities on the other. One could just as easily argue, based on COVID-19 experience in The Netherlands, cannabis use may be preventative.
Considering the possible risks during this crisis, it’s worth asking, “Are you still inhaling cannabis the wrong way?”
Inhaling cannabis the wrong way!
Considering the cost of cannabis, its expected pleasure, and its needed medical benefits, you should want to get the most out of your smoke.
The cannabis effect will not start until the smoke has reached the lungs. Holding it in your mouth, nose, or trachea does nothing for the experience.
If you do not inhale deeply into the lungs, you will not maximize the effect.
If you draw too much, the smoke will overfill the lungs and fill the mouth, nose, trachea, and sinus chambers, producing no benefit.
Therefore, inhaling and holding the smoke before exhaling is bad. Holding your breath may improve your ability to hold it — but it does nothing for your cannabis experience. Repeated tokes, inhaled incorrectly, only waste the product. Toking in a quick sequence is an early sign you are inhaling cannabis the wrong way.
The lungs absorb and transmit THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids to the blood and brain. Once the smoke reaches the lungs, the effects begin immediately. So, one toke should do it for a while.
Taking short tokes that you fail to carry deep into the lungs may come from a cigarette habit. Most cigarette smokers do not draw heavily on their smoke. Vapers often do not pull the smoke deep enough to maximize their experience. So, inhaling cannabis means forming a new habit.
Inhaling cannabis the right way?
Newcomers and veteran cannabis smokers could use work on the best practice for inhaling. It starts with a well-made joint holding about 0.25 grams of a preferred cannabis strain rolled in organic paper. (A “spliff” combines cannabis with tobacco.)
It will take some practice to roll your joint correctly. There is no perfect way to roll a joint, but you want yours to burn evenly. You might also use a crutch or a smoker’s mouthpiece. It filters the product from reaching your mouth, keeps the joint tip open, avoids burning your lips, and stops you from wetting the end when you pass it around.
You don’t light a joint like you would a cigarette. You don’t want to puff on the joint while lighting it. Instead, you roast the end without puffing. This is like lighting a cigar on a much smaller scale. Lighting this way helps the joint burn smoothly and evenly.
Smoking or vaping, you must learn diaphragmatic breathing. The diaphragm lies below the lungs and goes without use. Most people under normal circumstances tend to breathe with only the upper part of their lungs. It takes some conscious effort to breathe deep down to the diaphragm. Athletes, opera singers, yoga masters, and others recommend the benefits of breathing from the belly. Pulling air deep into the diaphragm brings more oxygen to enrich the blood. You can do this with aerobic exercise, meditation, tai chi, or yoga.
After lighting the end, you bring the joint to rest at your lip. Placing it between the lips risks wetting or lipping the end with saliva. The wetting affects the burn, wastes the product, and violates the smokers’ etiquette if you pass it around.
Pull smoke into your mouth slow and steady like you would smoke a cigar. This burns the joint smoothly and evenly.
With the smoke in your mouth, you then take in fresh air which forces the smoke down into the lungs along with the new oxygen to reduce coughing. (If you get nausea or burp, chances are you may be breathing the smoke into your stomach.)
You should count to 5 as you inhale, hold the smoke and air for 2 seconds, and exhale slowly with a count of 5. You can practice the count without the smoke to develop the habit and capacity.
You do not increase the potency by holding the smoke in your lungs. Cannabis works on them immediately on arrival, so holding the smoke only invites irritation of the membranes.
As the joint gets smaller, you may need something to hold the last bit without burning your lips. Veteran smokers accumulate these roaches to use in another joint and get the most for their money.
You should start small and slow. You can always titrate up to more potent strains and more frequent use. You can also opt for smoking through other devices. Bongs, pipes, and bubblers filter the irritants in different ways, but they require equipment and make joints the convenient option.
A final caution
You don’t want to do anything to compromise your health. While there is no evidence connecting cannabis smoking with this viral infection, you should focus on your lungs because the Coronavirus targets them.
On the other hand, if cannabis consumption has proven invaluable to your physical and mental health, you probably shouldn’t mess with a good thing. Inhaling cannabis the wrong way can jeopardize your respiratory system, so smoke it if you will, but inhale well.