Is It Safe to Consume Cannabis During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

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No source has yet warned against consuming cannabis during the coronavirus pandemic. There is no expectation that they will. However, good information about cannabis consumption will help you use your head.

Caution about smoking — 

Smoking remains the most common form of using cannabis. Toking remains the standard behavior. Smoking joints presents a specific concern.

The benefits of smoking cannabis are immediately felt because the cannabinoids leach through the lining of the lungs directly to the blood system which carries it quickly to the brain and body systems.

• While cannabis lacks the tar and nicotine of cigarettes, inhaling its smoke still carried carboxylate, the minuscule debris from burnt compounds. It’s that debris that causes lung irritation and the dry cough related to smoking cannabis.

The duress of COVID-19 lies in its invasion of the lungs and attachment to the lung lining where it quickly and seriously damages them and the systems they serve. It is not sensible to aggravate the respiratory system or make it vulnerable to infection.

• Also, among those most susceptible to COVID-19 are those with hypertension. Early users of cannabis will experience a jump in their blood pressure. The spike is not much different than the rush felt after a first cigarette or drink, and it does not last long for most people.

When you have become a regular cannabis smoker, your tolerance will build, and the blood pressure effect reduced. Nonetheless, if you are a diagnosed hypertensive patient, your health is compromised. Problem is that there are so many millions with hypertension, many millions overlap with those who use cannabis. While no one has articulated a correlation between cannabis consumption and coronavirus, there is a clear correlation between victims of hypertension and those susceptible to COVID-19. That presents a strong warning that those with high blood pressure should avoid cannabis smoking.

• Chronic asthma has many of the same symptoms as coronavirus. Both are characterized by a tightening chest, wheezing cough, increased mucus production and suffocating breathlessness.

Some people suffer from light asthma and/or seasonal asthma-related to environmental conditions. Some of these individuals may smoke cannabis occasionally with a little negative reaction. However, those compromised by chronic asthma should not smoke cannabis under any circumstances.

• Other compromised lung conditions include cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, scleroderma, and more. Diagnosed victims should avoid smoking or vaping anything.

Caution about vaping — 

Vaping cannabis does not introduce combusted materials to the lungs. Because of this, it may be safer than smoking weed. It follows, too, that using a bong, bubbler, dabbing, or other filtering devices may be useful.  

However, this pandemic is no time to risk lung irritation from heat, smoke, and foreign matter.

So, what’s left to consume cannabis safely? 

Cannabis is an inert product, a natural substance taken from certain plants. As such, it offers no immediate danger. The risk lies in the consumption method and dosage. So, if you do not smoke or vape, how are you to safely use cannabis during the coronavirus pandemic?

♦ Topical applications in the form of lotions, balms, and salves have produced a volume of anecdotal reports of relief from muscular and joint pain. The relief may result from the massaged in the application, but relief is a relief! 

You should shop for topicals with some information at hand. Cannabis is not water-soluble. It is fat-soluble and requires a fatty base like coconut oil or the oils used in like applications. The fatty base helps the cannabis content penetrate the skin to muscle. So, you will want to read the labels fully.

♦ Cannabis edibles remain a great option. Homemade or dispensary-bought baked goods are a real alternative. And, there are infused candies, mints, oils, and more on the market worth attention.

You still have two concerns. One, you need clearly and fully labeled products as possible, so you know what you are getting. Two, you want clear and full disclosure on dosing, so you know how to manage your usage.

The downside to cannabis edibles is that they rarely come with high THC potency because much of its power is burned off during preparation with heating or baking. That may suit those seeking medical benefits, but it’s not a preferred mode for those wanting a psychoactive spin.

♦ Cheeba Chews come in various flavors, with either a Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid origin. They come in taffy, caramel, and fruity forms with 10mg THC per each of 10 chews. The chews are not available online and may vary by flavor or formulation in dispensaries where permitted.

♦ California’s Venice Cookie Company offers discretely packaged single cookies with 10mg THC in delicious flavors. They also sell options that balance THC with CBD or in CBD only.

♦ Mirth Provisions makes Legal brand sodas in five locally-sourced flavors with defined by cannabis strain and sold in West Coast and Colorado dispensaries.

♦ Fair Winds Cannabis markets its Catapult coffee with 10mg in each of its six single servings. It’s a coffee sourced from Vancouver’s Paper Tiger coffee bean roaster. Catapult is currently only available through Washington State dispensaries.

One of the barriers to edible accessibility is FDA concerns about the efficacy of claims made by producers regarding medical health benefits.

Well, is it safe or not? 

Smoking and vaping cannabis are ill-advised during the coronavirus pandemic. There is a risk of irritating the delicate lung membranes that COVID-19 targets. If you are medically compromised, you do not want to aggravate the risk.  

If you want medical benefits, you have hundred of calming options in CBD edible resources. And, if you want to trip, you might resort to the variety of THC dense edibles on the market where licensed, regulated, and permitted.