T he government and health experts may not seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to addressing the recent COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. You, Dear Cannabis User, can responsibly and intelligently address infectious-disease prevention in your own space despite the officials’ bewilderment. Start by changing your cannabis smoking habits with these vital disease-fighting, cannabis-using tips.
Practice Sesh Prep Hygiene
Viruses including the COVID-19 virus infect populations in several ways. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, one of the primary ways COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person is via respiratory droplets that are released when infected people cough or sneeze. The virus is then deposited via the droplets on surfaces, into the air, and onto the lips and fingers of an infected person who has recently coughed or sneezed.
A simple visit to your local grocery store involves touching door handles, produce, canned goods, payment keypads, and other surfaces that every other shopper may have touched, too. All it takes is one infected person in a public space to cause the COVID-19 virus to be transmitted to your fingers after you touch an infected surface in that space. If you come straight home from the store and load a bowl without washing your hands, you could literally get coronavirus from smoking up with a virus-infested pipe.
Each and every time you come back home from a public trip, head straight to the sink and wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before rinsing the soap away. Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before you do the following:
- Touch your flower or flower containers
- Handle bongs, pipes, and other pieces
- Hold rolling papers, blunts, or wraps
- Consume edibles
The COVID-19 virus has one main goal: to get on your face and into your lungs. If you touch a surface with live COVID-19 on it and then touch your face, your food, or your bowl, you’ve just given the virus easy entry into your respiratory tract. Wash your hands often, but especially wash your hands well before you eat and before you prepare smoking materials.
Disinfect Your Pieces
Experts are unclear about how long the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces. The World Health Organization estimates the COVID-19 virus may stay alive on open surfaces anywhere from a few hours to several days.
To be on the safe side, clean and disinfect all of your smoking and dabbing equipment now. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and disinfecting your pieces. Be gentle and careful when working with glass bongs and bowls.
If your clear glass pieces can be submerged, dunk as many components of your rigs as you can in isopropyl alcohol to kill any remaining germs after you wash and rinse your bowls, then rinse the alcohol-soaked bits again. Let smoking devices dry thoroughly before using. After smoking sessions, use alcohol or alcohol wipes to clean the mouthpieces and handles of your pipes and bongs.
Suspend Communal Smoke-Outs
If an infected person touches or smokes from your favorite piece, the coronavirus may be transmitted later to anyone who handles the pipe or takes a puff from the mouthpiece. COVID-19 is also spread when people are in close contact, which is considered to be within six feet of each other.
It definitely hurts to stop smoking with your favorite people for a while, but it may be best to suspend group smoke sessions until the coronavirus has run its course. This advice is especially true for people living in areas where the virus is spreading rapidly or who live with vulnerable older people. If one person with bad hygiene hangs with your group, your whole crew is at risk when you share bowls and blunts. When you must have group smoking sessions, ensure that each person has their own bowl or cigarette.
Personal mouthpieces are available for use with all types of smoking devices, but it’s questionable whether personal mouthpieces would protect people during a long smoking session. First, respiratory droplets collect on individual mouthpieces, too. Second, personal mouthpieces must be routinely disinfected or they’re useless at fighting infections.
Limit or Pause Smoking
The human lungs are the most vulnerable organs when it comes to a COVID-19 infection. Health experts advise people to stop smoking to reduce potential harm from the coronavirus. Whether you smoke flower, concentrates, or vape products, giving your lungs a break during a viral outbreak is not a bad idea.
If you use cannabis medicinally, it may be time to switch to edibles. Individually packaged edibles are sanitary and easy to use. Consumable products that contain THC and/or CBD include:
- Energy drinks
- Lemonades and sodas
- Cakes and cookies
- Candy and chocolate
- Granola bars
- Potato chips and pretzels
- Candied popcorn
- Glazed nuts
In some areas, cannabis-infused pizza is on the menu. You can also buy prepared cannabis butter to use in your sweet or savory dishes. Effects from edibles vary from person to person, so talk to cannabis experts about the best edibles for your needs.
If you only take occasional puffs, using concentrates for a while may put minimal strain on the lungs while delivering ample THC. For body pain, topical CBD products often help, especially during times when you’re limiting your smoking. Oh and let’s not forget about sex while you’re hunkered in, you’ll want to try out our CBD lube for some extra excitement.
Here’s hoping the COVID-19 virus chills out and mutates into a harmless bug. Until then, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keep your smoking gear clean as a whistle, and do your best to smoke alone. After the coronavirus threat passes, you and your buddies can have an awesome meetup, smoke to your heart’s content, and share your epic stories of survival.