Updated: Aug 20
The COVID-19 virus is forcing a lot of us to rethink our habits and rituals - most of us are increasing our hygiene routines and focusing on social distancing. Cannabis use is no exception, and many people are wondering how to use cannabis safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether you’re a medical cannabis user, or you only imbibe recreationally, it’s important to know how to protect yourself during this time.
1. Avoid smoking.
Smoking cannabis might not have the dire risks of smoking nicotine, but it’s still pretty harsh on the lungs.
Considering that COVID-19 is a virus that affects the respiratory tract especially, it’s a good idea to keep your lungs in tip-top shape and free of irritants. That means you should avoid smoking cannabis for the time being, especially if you’re feeling a little under-the-weather.
Instead, try cannabis-infused edibles, tinctures, oils, and gummies for a high that’s easy on the lungs.
2. Don’t share pipes, joints, bongs, vapes, or blunts with anyone else.
You’ve undoubtedly heard that COVID-19 is spread through saliva and mucus. Coughing and sneezing, in particular, can spread the virus.
For many of us, cannabis is something we like to use socially. Unfortunately, sharing cannabis equipment is an effective way to spread the virus. Think about it: if you and a few friends pass around a joint, the germs from your mouth will enter theirs, and vice versa. Add post-smoke coughing to the mix, and you’ve got the perfect situation for spreading COVID-19.
For now, social distancing should include smoking solo - or, if you insist on indulging with your friends, use your own equipment.
In this case, sharing is not caring.
3. Clean all your cannabis equipment.
If you’ve recently smoked with others, it’s a good idea to clean all your cannabis equipment thoroughly. This should include:
… and anything else you use.
It’s best to use soapy water to clean your equipment, because soap is fantastic at stopping the spread of the virus. While alcohol-based cleaner can work, it’s not a good idea to get alcohol on your lighter or anything else that gets near a flame, just in case.
4. Procure your supplies safely.
Whether you go to a dispensary, cannabis shop, or a private dealer, it’s important to be responsible while buying your cannabis.
Keep six feet between yourself and others - including other shoppers, shop assistants, and dealers. Try not to touch them directly, and if they touch anything - products, your bank card, or your medical marijuana card - wipe it down with an alcohol swab.
Avoid touching your face, and use a hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content when you’re out-and-about.
It might seem extreme, but in all likelihood, plenty of people are visiting dispensaries and seeing your supplier every day - and one of them might have come in contact with the virus. It’s best to be safe than sorry.
5. Don’t fall for misinformation.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation circulating out there - and some people are even claiming that cannabis or CBD cures COVID-19. These claims are unfounded.
If you think you have COVID-19, please try to get medical help instead of self-medicating with cannabis or CBD. Encourage others to do the same. Look on the World Health Organisation’s website for verified, factual information.
We’re living in turbulent and unusual times - but there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re using cannabis safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This can help you minimize your chances of getting COVID-19 or passing it onto others.