Every day new cases are being reported as the COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) spreads across the US and the rest of the world. As a cannabis user, you might be asking how this novel virus affects your medication supply and your health.
Will The Coronavirus Affect My Cannabis Supply?
Due to federal laws, legal cannabis products are grown in the state they sell, so international shortages are most likely not going to affect the supply of marijuana for medical and recreational use.
But many of the companies in China that manufacture products used to vape cannabis, like cartridges and batteries, have already seen interruptions in service due to quarantines and factory shutdowns. Many of the specialized packagings that are used for cannabis products are also produced in China, so we may see some shortages there too.
How to Stay Healthy Amid Coronavirus
It is vital that cannabis users do not share or pass joints, vapes pens, or waterpipes as a precaution. Always wash your hands and do so frequently. It might seem like a no-brainer to some, but being diligent about handwashing really can prevent and contain COVID-19 (and many other viruses, such as the flu).
When visiting your local dispensary, keep in mind that many people who use cannabis due so for a medical reason, which means they may have a pre-existing condition that will make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. Even if you are buying in a recreational state, you may be standing in line next to someone who is likely to catch the flu or COVID-19. So cover your mouth, carry hand sanitizer, and be considerate of others when stashing up. Then, DO stash up, so you can stay at home as much as possible.
And although cannabis can help with the pain and inflammation associated with a virus like COVID-19 or the flu, smoking weed when you’re sick is usually not a good idea. Hot smoke can irritate already struggling lungs, and upper respiratory issues are known to exacerbate symptoms of COVID-19. If you’re coming down with something, this is an excellent opportunity to try edibles if you haven’t. Although some research has shown that in flu cases, cannabis may suppress the immune system, so moderation is probably a good idea (1).
What About 4/20 and Legalization Events?
Since most 4/20 events involve massive groups of people passing and puffing, you can expect at least some of them to be canceled. And legalization events and petitions are less likely to happen or be effective since most people are opting into staying home.
In summary, use common sense when using cannabis or buying cannabis and do your best to take care of your health and the health of others.