Happy May CG blog fans! Hope everyone had a lovely 4/20 and a relaxing May Day weekend, lord knows we all needed a bit of R&R and then some. We all get the feeling that 2020 isn’t going to get any easier but let’s not focus on the doom and gloom, though we should definitely mention one thing that’s on everybody’s mind: COVID-19. Until a vaccine is discovered, we’re going to be dealing with this for the foreseeable future unfortunately, so let’s at least go through what we know so far and what we think might be in store ahead with respect to cannabis. We all (well most of us, anyway) know that cannabis is in fact a medicine with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and potentially even anti-viral properties (evidence suggests CBD may have an effect only in limited cases as clinical evidence is lacking), but can we use it against the dreaded coronavirus? Before you whip out your favorite piece of paraphernalia and get high as a kite, you might want to consider a couple of things first. When sick with any respiratory illness, ingesting the smoke of any plant material, be it tobacco or cannabis, is not a good idea and your lungs will not be thanking you afterwards, not to mention your sore and itchy throat. Smoking in general will exacerbate any respiratory condition by affecting your mucus membranes, which means your infection might even be prolonged.
There are a number of physicians with experience in cannabis treatment who also claim that while cannabinoids do reduce inflammation, it is best to avoid smoking and even vaping cannabis at the moment, though if you are one of those patients who must smoke or vape due to another condition you should not feel guilty about doing so, particularly if there is no alternative such as edibles, tinctures and the like.
What we know so far: not a whole lot
COVID-19 is a very recent virus that was only discovered in late 2019, so the science on it is in its very early stages. We are only a few months into the pandemic, at least in Western countries, so clinical data is definitely lacking, therefore we have to be patient on that one. If cannabis were indeed an antiviral medication in the sense that it prevents and/or kills viruses, influenza would be virtually non-existent in California, but alas, such is not the case. We won’t see a vaccine for COVID-19 for at least a year, does that mean cannabis is utterly useless and that we’re totally screwed? Not entirely.
The pandemic has shown across many countries that cannabis is indeed essential.
Even in places where THC-containing cannabis is illegal, places that have legalized high-CBD/low-THC cannabis have permitted shops to stay open despite the lockdown. Which leads to the question: how can cannabis help with a viral infection? For starters, it is an excellent pain killer. Any aches or pains can still be treated with cannabis despite its ineffectiveness against the virus itself, so at the very least pain levels can be noticeably reduced. With the right kind of cannabis, you should also be able to get a good night’s (or day’s) rest due to its sleep-inducing properties, and with its anti-inflammatory effects it can reduce inflammation of your lungs and airways in addition to being able to reduce a fever. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure, so it’s always a good idea to give your immune system a boost through diet and exercise and cutting down or avoiding altogether things like alcohol and tobacco. That being said, if you want to still use cannabis but avoid smoking or vaping, tinctures or cannabis teas are certainly a healthy option and you can also finally work on those culinary skills you keep putting off and pick up a cookbook or two with some canna-recipes and make your own edibles. If you really want to go into full-blown patient mode and impress others, RSO syringes (also available in high CBD concentrations) will certainly make it look all the more sciencey.
Regardless of your cannabis consumption however, if you do exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 or any other viral infection for that matter, get yourself to a doctor ASAP, provided of course you are insured or live in a civilized country that provides healthcare to its citizens at no charge. No matter your insurance status, cannabis can help you forget about the nightmare known as for-profit health insurance, but that’s a topic for another post. Stay safe everyone!