Like it or not, there’s one question that’s been on all of our minds at some point over the last few days. Should I slow down on cannabis while the COVID-19 crisis is unfolding? Is it safe and responsible to smoke, vape, or eat weed these days? Although we try to shed some light on these questions here, please keep in mind that everyone is still scrambling for information. Here’s just what we know so far!
A Quick Smoker’s Update On COVID-19 Coronavirus
As you can see wherever you look, the coronavirus crisis is still expanding. While China is reporting a steady slowdown in the number of new cases, they have issues with new infections being imported from abroad. Across much of the rest of the world, more cases are being identified every day so far. Most, if not all, countries are now trying to figure out how to ‘flatten the curve’. Governments are racing to prevent medical services from being flooded in patients. The Dutch authorities are maintaining their regulations concerning restaurants, schools and public events, although further restrictions are still on the table. We are all expected to practice social distancing, and self-isolate if we or our loved ones are showing symptoms.
Question 1: Are Dutch Coffeeshops Still Safe?
All coffeeshops are taking precautions to protect their staff and customers. So in short, yes, they are still safe to visit, although visiting any pace where people meet entails certain risks right now. If you make sure to stay 1.5 metres (6ft) apart from others, washy your hands before and after visiting, and cough or sneeze into your elbow, you should be alright. Again: DO NOT GO OUT TO BUY CANNABIS IF YOU ARE HAVING SYMPTOMS! Ask someone else to do your ‘shopping’ for you if you have (mild) cold or flu symptoms. Let’s try and keep our Dutch coffeeshops open: we need you to work with us on this one, so please stay responsible and safe!
Question 2: Will Cannabis Help Against COVID-19?
In short: probably not. Nobody’s had the time to study this of course. The virus is too new to draw any definite conclusions. Generally speaking, we can say two things here. The obvious one first: using cannabis will not stop or cure a COVID-19 infection. If only that were true: we’d all be puffing away for the greater good right now. Perhaps the following is less obvious: be careful using cannabis as a folk cure for any flu, cold, or virus symptoms. Although THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids found in cannabis are known for a wide range of alleged health benefits, there is no direct medical evidence for their effectiveness against influenza or corona viruses. Focus on staying hydrated, getting your vitamins, and getting enough rest instead while minimising contact with others.
Question 3: Should I Quit Using Cannabis While Infected?
This is basically your own decision. The main point to consider here is the condition of your lungs. Since COVID-19 is known to damage your airways, adding to that damage by inhaling smoke could make the effects worse in theory. The mucous membranes in your lungs could become more agitated, so coughing may increase and recovery could be slowed. Switching to edibles could mitigate the risk. On the other hand, THC and CBD are known to help you sleep, relieve pain, and have anti-inflammatory properties. So cannabis could help combat the symptoms, even if it doesn’t help against viruses. Some experts say, though, that anti-inflammatory agents could prolong viral infections, including corona infections. If you add these factors together, that’s a bit of a mixed message, then.
Slowing Down On Cannabis If You Have Symptoms
All in all, we would suggest that you try to limit your cannabis use if you have flu-like symptoms right now. If possible, switch to edibles to spare your lungs. CBD oil, tablets, gummies or kombucha could be handy alternatives, especially if you are using high-CBD weed for medical purposes. Still, the most important advice is to stick to the safety measures described above. Stay healthy, stay safe and stay sensible – it’s the quickest way back to our normal cannabis routines!