This pandemic has people clearing the shelves of all toilet paper and hand sanitizer as mild panic spreads with fears of catching the Coronavirus. Most of the world are taking extra precautions to avoid contraction, which is of vital importance as they may not cure or entirely prevent contraction, but it keeps contraction rates at a manageable level. Although South Africa is not a high-risk country at the moment, we have had a few reported cases, and should all be taking more preventative measures.
The cannabis community, here in South Africa and across the globe, are a social bunch. It brings people together, which does put us at a higher risk of contracting certain diseases. Sharing bongs and joints is an obvious way for all sorts of bacteria to travel from one person to another, but there are ways you can be more cautious during a smoke sesh.
Cannabis Community Health and the Coronavirus
Refrain from sharing joints, bongs, vapes and rigs
Puff puff pass is something you’re likely familiar with if you’re a regular consumer. We all love this social norm, but passing joints and bongs will quickly spread a virus. For now, you might want to stick to your personal supply.
Don’t buy into unproven treatments for COVID-19
Some companies are making bold claims that their CBD or cannabis based products can assist with battling this virus. There is no solid research for this, so these claims are likely gimmicky.
Hand washing and overall hygiene
The importance of washing your hands regularly cannot be emphasised enough! This simple daily task can minimise the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. Before rolling a spliff or chowing some edibles, make sure to wash for a good 20 seconds at a time.
Avoid smoking if you are not feeling well
Although THC and CBD are great anti-inflammatories, provide pain relief and improved sleep, they don’t work as well when smoked while ill.
Smoke is the last thing your body wants or needs when battling with the flu or colds. Be sure to do some more research into this topic and decide for yourself if it’s worth taking a puff.
Unless you’re already ill or a healthcare provider, leave the face masks alone
The face masks that are rapidly depleting are not necessary if you have not yet contracted the Coronavirus. These are intended to prevent those already sick from spreading the disease. As well as protecting healthcare professionals who are treating the ill. You’re better off washing your hands frequently than worrying too much about face masks.
Be aware of physical contact with others
Shaking hands or hugging are the two most common ways we make physical contact with others. Keep this contact to a minimum, rather give a friendly wave! Especially in public places such as office space or shopping malls.
COVID-19 Symptoms – What to Look Out For
This disease presents itself in a very similar way to colds and flu. Symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- A runny nose
Be aware of people who have also possibly come into contact with an ill patient, or those who have travelled to a high risk area.
Now that we know how to be responsible cannabis consumers when it comes to COVID-19 and what to keep in mind when other diseases are floating around, how will this affect the global cannabis industry?
As far as actual cannabis supply is concerned, we don’t need to worry about that issue in South Africa. Seeing as most of us are growing our own, we have access to a safe supply and don’t need to worry about the import of flower.
Where we may feel the brunt of the Coronavirus will be in the product packaging sphere. Seeing as most of this is manufactured in China, we’re likely to feel a slight impact from this. Product packaging for grow equipment, accessories such as bongs or grinders and even CBD products may slow down their access to South Africa or stop it completely.
This disease is also going to limit cannabis based events. This is evident in the cancelling of Spannabis 2020, due to concerns of this disease spreading throughout the event. Sadly this may mean that some local 420 celebrations may be suspended as well, despite risks being low in South Africa.
Keeping all this in mind, one would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to COVID-19. It may not be such a pressing issue locally, but taking the necessary precautions will ensure that you can keep toking without putting yourself at too much risk.