Guidelines for Cannabis
Users During COVID-19
The past two weeks have resulted in dramatic changes to life in America and across the world. Sports seasons and schools have been canceled, the government and healthcare workers are encouraging social distancing and sheltering in place, toilet paper, eggs, hand sanitizer, and fresh meat are almost impossible to find in stores, many states have closed restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and other businesses and most employees are being asked to work from home, while many others have already been laid off. It is truly a whole new world. People across the US are trying to understand the Coronavirus, COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and its impact on people, our health care system, and on our way of life. This global pandemic has affected almost every part of our daily life including the way we use medical and recreational marijuana. Here are some tips for the Cannabis community during the Coronavirus health emergency:
1) Don’t Puff and Pass
For many people part of the weed experience is passing a joint around or sharing a vape or bong with friends. Although this is a normal part of the cannabis culture, this is definitely not the time to be sharing a blunt or bong with anyone. Coronavirus is highly contagious and is passed through bodily fluids like saliva, through human contact (like when your fingers brush against someone else’s when you pass a joint), and even through surfaces used in vaporizers and bongs such as metal, plastic, and glass. Keep your germs to yourself during this time; a global pandemic is not the time to puff and pass!
2 ) Try An Edible or Tincture
Edibles and tinctures are great options for cannabis consumption on a normal basis, but especially during this COVID-19 health emergency. Edibles and tinctures are readily available at many dispensaries, but many are also easy to make at home. Most don’t require ingredients that may be hard to currently find in the stores and offer the same benefits as smoking or vaping without the possible risks.
The CDC has stated that one of the groups that may be hit hardest by COVID -19 are those that smoke or vape tobacco or maijuana. A study conducted in China in February found that the odds of a COVID-19 case becoming more severe and even leading to death was 14 times higher among people who had a history of smoking. More and more young people are being hospitalized with COVID-19 and although right now it is not possible to do enough research to verify their concerns, experts are wondering if the huge increase in vaping marijuana and e-cigarettes may have contributed to this. According to Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, “Vaping affects your lungs at every level…the ability of your upper airways to clear viruses is compromised.”
Using tinctures or edibles allows the medical patient and recreational user to enjoy cannabis and get their medication without smoking or vaping. Most people have more time at home right now, so this might just be a great time to find and practice some new edible or tincture recipes!
3) Be Aware of Supply Chain Issues
No, this doesn’t mean running to the grocery store and hoarding toilet paper, medicine, paper towels, and food. Experts are saying that there is not a supply shortage of these items…rather it is people who are panicking or who are managing their anxiety by trying to have control over the items they have stockpiled in their home “just in case.”
On the other hand experts in the cannabis industry are warning the community that there may be difficulties in the coming weeks and months with the supply chain for many parts used in various cannabis consumption methods. This supply shortage could be especially true for vape pens. Many of the parts used in vape pens including batteries, cartridges, and the vapes themselves are made in China. Chinese production of these vape parts and other items used in the cannabis sector such as LED lighting etc. has been drastically reduced over the past few months as factories closed due to the pandemic. This change in production will soon be felt in the US and across the world. If you frequently use vape pens you may want to consider grabbing a few extra or even consider switching to other portable vapes, a table vaporizer, or a totally different consumption method.
4) Marijuana and CBD Can Help with Depression and Anxiety
This is an unprecedented time in history. People’s lives have been completely upended or radically altered in the last few weeks. Many people have lost their jobs or have had their hours and/or pay reduced. The idea of social distancing and quarantining is difficult for a lot of people to comprehend and practice day after day. Social Media is filled with posts and videos about the pandemic and the news is covering it 24 hours a day. There is a lot of contradictory information and it seems like information changes hour by hour. All of these things can lead to a lot of people feeling worried, depressed, and isolated. Medical Marijuana and CBD has long been used to treat depression and anxiety. This might be the perfect time to experiment with different strains such as Granddaddy Purple, ACDC, Jack Herer, or Remedy. Pay attention to how your body responds to different terpenes, and whether your anxiety and depression is treated best with CBD or THC dominant strains etc and you will find which cannabis strain you can use to help treat any pandemic induced anxiety or depression.
5) Don’t Try to Treat Coronavirus or COVID-19 with CBD or MMJ
There is a lot of bad advice and medical claims being passed around on social media. Although cannabinoids have been shown to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, there is no solid research on treating Coronavirus with CBD or THC. Smoking anything, cannabis included, will obviously irritate compromised lungs and can make a sore throat and cough worse. There is also some concern that other types of canna-drops or treatments some patients use when they have the flu or are sick may actually prolong viral infections like COVID-19. Make sure you are following official medical advice from your doctor when treating the Coronavirus and COVID -19.
6) Utilize Dispensary Delivery Services
Social Distancing, Shelter in Place, and Self-Isolation. Over the past two weeks these have become common terms in our vocabulary and have radically changed the way we shop for food, necessities, and cannabis. If you live in a state that allows dispensary delivery services, find out if dispensaries are offering deliveries near you. You can contact your favorite dispensary or check online on sites such as Weed Maps or Where’s Weed. This is the perfect time to take advantage of delivery services offered by many dispensaries. You can get your medicine while remaining safely at home and continuing to follow the CDC and state guidelines.
7) Pay Attention to Industry Events
The Coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancelation of huge events worldwide and cannabis conferences and events are no exception. Health and Government officials in countries across the globe have placed bans on large gatherings of people. While the number of people allowed in small groups may change from country to country or even state to state, almost all large events have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Events such as the huge European marijuana business conference, Spannabis Barcelona, High Times Cannabis Cup Central Valley, Denver’s 4/20 Celebration, SXSW Festival which had a cannabis business track, etc have all been canceled or postponed. Keep an eye on the events you were planning on attending, including ones that were scheduled for this summer and fall. Things are changing rapidly and you want to be prepared.
8) Follow Your State and the CDC Guidelines
The COVID-19 crisis is not a Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian issue. It’s not a conservative issue or a liberal issue. Social distancing and following the CDC guidelines is not just for the cannabis community or for those fighting against legalization. This is an American issue and a global issue. It is impacting all of us and we all need to do our part.
We strongly encourage you to be wise and socially responsible. It is obvious after reading the reports from around the world including hard hit places such as Italy and China, speaking to a wide variety of healthcare workers, and looking at reports from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) that the Coronavirus and the global pandemic is very real and having catastrophic impact on on our vulnerable populations and on the healthcare system. It is very important to follow the CDC guidelines concerning preventive measures including social distancing. The CDC is calling on all Americans to stay home if possible, to avoid groups of 10 or more, and to keep 6 feet of separation between you and non-family members. The CDC also highly recommends frequent hand washing, sanitizing surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and other commonly touched areas, and to avoid touching your face. Many states and cities are going further and closing schools for the remainder of the year, issuing shelter in place orders, closing non-essential businesses, etc. It is extremely important that you are aware of the orders and recommendations for your area and that you take them seriously.
Our scientists and doctors are saying that the only way we can combat this virus and the impact it is having on our country is to flatten the curve by reducing the amount of people that we have contact with. This will help the virus from spreading and will help keep our hospitals from overwhelmed. The US only has so many hospital beds, ventilators, protective equipment for the healthcare workers etc. We need to do our part by staying home and reducing stopping the spread.
COVID-19 and the Coronavirus has had a major impact on our world over the past few months. Statistics and pandemic impact change minute by minute and no one really knows what the next few weeks or months will look like. The cannabis community is strong and connected. We know that our industry will continue to support one another and will use the above tips to continue to enjoy our medicine, to stop the spread, and to make it through this pandemic. Stay healthy, stay safe, and enjoy the benefits of marijuana during this unprecedented time.