How to Safely Consume Marijuana Around Coronavirus

Irene Stepanenko
Irene Stepanenko

Irene Stepanenko, the CEO of AskGrowers, stands out with her multifaceted expertise and passion. As a seasoned blog writer, she delves into natural cannabis products, weed culture, and legislation, offering readers in-depth insights. Her background as a marketer, teacher, yogi practitioner, and super-mom adds depth to her approach, blending professionalism with personal experience. Her strong belief in cannabis education drives her mission at AskGrowers, aiming to foster a society that views weed without prejudice.

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How to Safely Consume Marijuana Around Coronavirus

Whether you are a recreational user or have a legitimate medical need for marijuana, it is likely that you will still be consuming cannabis despite the Coronavirus pandemic. We put together this guide to help you understand how you can do this safely and to outline the health risks and benefits of weed.

It is, by now, well known that cannabis offers several health benefits, with research suggesting that CBD, in particular, can boost your immune system and help to protect against a variety of diseases. Some research even suggests that CBD can kill cancer cells and block the growth of those cells, but does any of this mean it can help fight a deadly virus like SARS-Cov-2?

Does Cannabis Boost Your Immune System?

The jury is still out on this one to some degree. Much research suggests that cannabinoids (CBD) can help manage autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and even HIV/AIDs. This is due primarily to their ability to disrupt the body’s production of cytokines – proteins that the immune system produces, which can cause inflammation and pain and play a crucial role in the development of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. ARDS is a serious life-threatening condition that COVID-19 can trigger and is the cause of many COVID-19 deaths.

The body’s natural Endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in the immune system. It reacts positively to CBD, breaking down the cannabinoids and triggering an immune response that works to regulate appetite, lower stress levels, produce analgesic reactions, and even aid fertility in women.

Potential Side Effects of CBD

There are some potential side effects to be aware of, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Reduced Appetite

These side effects are rare and will not necessarily affect you every time you consume CBD if they have affected you once. It is not an anaphylactic response; therefore, the presence of side effects will not dictate that you are in any way intolerant of CBD. These side effects are more common in those taking other medications, so you should be wary if that applies to you.

CBD is known to trigger specific receptors within your immune system, which activate different reactions and do a particular job within your body. This article on CBDClinicals, a reliable, scientific source for information about CBD and its effect on our bodies, goes into great detail regarding the specific receptors triggered by CBD.

There have been several studies into marijuana’s effect on Coronavirus specifically since the beginning of 2020 with a relatively mixed view of cannabis and CBD’s impact on COVID.

Kovalchuk Study in Canada

One study by two Canadian researchers, Olga and Ivor Kovalchuck, tested a specific strain of cannabis against COVID-19. They have been developing and testing a novel strain of cannabis for several years to optimize its effectiveness against various diseases, particularly cancer. At the dawn of the pandemic, they refocused this effort to determine their strain’s efficacy when battling COVID-19.

They found that the cannabis strains they produced helped alleviate some of the more severe, life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19 and even made it less likely that a user would contract Coronavirus in the first instance. The study says, “Sativa extracts may be used to modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 target tissues,” and you can read it in full by clicking here. The study is still a theory, and its findings are not confirmed, though other studies heavily support them.

University of South Carolina Study Into Marijuana and COVID

While we have looked heavily into CBD oils, the presence of THC in cannabis still leaves the question; does weed help COVID?

THC Effect on Lungs

A study conducted by the University Of South Carolina suggests it could, saying THC could be an effective treatment for some of the more severe Coronavirus cases. Researchers found that THC can suppress the immune response that triggers Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which, as stated earlier, is one of the primary causes of serious illness in Coronavirus patients. They also believe it can help the lungs produce healthy bacteria, crucial for fighting infection and illness.

When considering these findings, you must remember that THC can have a suppressive effect on your immune system, so exposure in the early stages of infection could negatively impact your body’s natural response.

Eybna and Cannasoul Research Into Cannabis Terpenes

Eybna and Cannasoul joined forces for a study conducted in Israel to prove the positive impacts of NT-VRL, a formulation of terpenes specifically designed for anti-viral and anti-inflammatory purposes. They found that the terpenes alone effectively prevented ‘cytokine storm,’ an inflammatory response that can trigger a severe fever, fatigue, and vomiting, potentially reaching the point of requiring a ventilator to breathe. They also ran the same tests with NT-VRL combined with CBD, and the effect was even more significant.

American Lung Association Warn That Coronavirus And Cannabis Don’t Mix

Doctors at the American Lung Association insist that smoking weed increases your chances of becoming seriously ill from Coronavirus, even in tiny quantities. They argue that smoking causes inflammation, which hurts your body’s ability to fight infection. They also say that it can be harder for smokers, whether marijuana smokers or cigarette smokers, to find it harder to spot Coronavirus infection symptoms. They are prone to dry coughs, so there are common effects of smoking cannabis and COVID. This study suggests that the act of smoking could impact the positive relationship between CBD and COVID.

What Tips Shall I Follow to Enjoy Weed and Avoid COVID-19?

The first thing to keep in mind when looking to consume cannabis in any form is to follow local guidelines. Whatever means you are acquiring your cannabis, whether you use a dispensary or a weed store, it is vital to adhere to social distancing guidelines and maintain an incredibly high hygiene standard. All reliable outlets will provide basic things like hand sanitizer, which you should use and do not touch things unnecessarily. This will reduce the spread of COVID and keep your marijuana COVID-free.

If you are a recreational user who usually shares weed with friends, this is not the time for that activity. The nature of Coronavirus dictates that sharing a bong, pipe, joint, or blunt with another person dramatically increases the chances of spreading Coronavirus and should be avoided at all costs. When smoking, you also inhale significantly more air than when breathing normally, which means that any aerosols carrying Coronavirus will be inhaled and infect you with the virus.

Smoking weed alone should not have any adverse effects with regards to Coronavirus. Transmission is impossible without exposure to the virus; therefore, smoking alone in a well-ventilated space poses no greater risk of direct transmission, though you should note the ALA advice regarding inflammation and infection risk. We also advise that you purchase a silicone cover to protect the mouthpiece of any vape or pipe that you may be using.

The most COVID-safe method of consumption would likely be to enjoy edibles or cannabis-infused drinks, as these are put into your mouth and consumed immediately. The lack of contact required with others will reduce the risk of transmission, and you will still get all the benefits of CBD and THC.

Types of Cannabis-Infused Edibles and Drinks

There are several types of edibles and drinks available, including:

  • Cakes, brownies, and other baked goods
  • Cannabis jello
  • Cannabis candies
  • Cannabis-infused chocolate
  • Cannabis-infused tea
  • Cannabis coffee

Be wary that consuming cannabis In this way slows the effects, which can lead many to consume more than is necessary or sensible.

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Final Thoughts

A good amount of reliable research suggests that weed may emerge victorious in the battle between COVID and marijuana. Smoking would undoubtedly be the least sensible option available to you at this time, with drinks and edibles providing a much safer experience while gaining all of CBD and THC’s benefits.

It is not only possible to enjoy cannabis safely, keeping COVID and weed far apart during this strange and slightly frightening time, but the active ingredients CBD and THC can help you to avoid the virus and help your body fight infection in the worst-case scenario.

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