Smoking Cannabis During COVID-19 – Is It a Smart Idea?

Many members of the cannabis community are enjoying their time off during the COVID-19 pandemic and are happily toking the days away. But could this have a potential negative impact on their health during these turbulent times?

smoking cannabis during COVID-19

If you’re one of the many toking away your worries about the ongoing pandemic, doctors are saying you may want to think twice. 

Why Should You be Concerned? 

Smoking cannabis, even if it’s occasionally, can put you at greater risk for complications from COVID-19. Chief medical officer from the American Lung Association and pulmonologist, Dr. Albert Rizzo, let everyone know that “What happens to your airways when you smoke cannabis is that it causes some degree of inflammation, very similar to bronchitis, very similar to the type of inflammation that cigarette smoking can cause,”. 

He went on to state that “Now you have some airway inflammation and you get an infection on top of it. So, yes, your chance of getting more complications is there.”

You may be thinking to yourself, I don’t smoke all that much, I’m still new to cannabis so I can’t be at high risk, right? Well, this isn’t the main issue. Pulmonologist and spokesperson for the American Lung Association, Dr. Mitchell Glass, believes that cannabis consumption could potentially make it more difficult for doctors to diagnose potential symptoms. 

It is during times like this that you will have to ask yourself whether it is worth still smoking cannabis when it could make the job of health care workers so much more difficult. If you are a cannabis consumer it may make it more difficult for health care workers to quickly and accurately assess your situation. 

Is this a Cannabis or Coronavirus Cough? 

Chronic cannabis consumption does damage the lungs over time. In the end, this can start to appear the same way that chronic bronchitis does. Smokers, those with chronic lung diseases or those with asthma are among those at high risk for contracting the virus and suffering from related complications. 

The damage cigarettes have on our lungs become apparent after just a few days. Cannabis may not compare, cannabis does contain certain compounds that negatively impact on the lungs. 

When you compare smoking a cigarette to smoking cannabis, cannabis burns at much lower temperatures than cigarettes you can buy at the shops. Because of this, the consumer is essentially inhaling a certain amount of unburnt plant material. This irritates the lungs in a similar way that various allergies do. 

Overall, this means that there are patients already more susceptible to having a cough because they have more sensitive airways. Seeing as a dry cough is one of the most obvious signs of COVID-19, a cough from smoking cannabis can mimic these symptoms and make diagnosis troublesome. 

Using Your Head

Weed may help you keep your cool in times like this, but does impair your ability to function. This will not be helpful if you do find yourself in any sort of medical emergency. 

You are able to reduce your anxiety, but also change the way you think and handle certain situations, which may not be beneficial in emergencies. 

If you are faced with a situation in which you need to make certain decisions or provide important information, you need to be in complete control of your thought processes. 

More People are Consuming Cannabis

Cannabis consumption has risen rapidly in recent years as legalisation sweeps across the globe. 

It is because so many people are now making use of the plant that has become so important to let these large numbers know that their consumption may have a negative impact in relation to COVID-19. And not just on themselves, but those around them too potentially. 

This is most prominent when we start looking at senior populations. Not only are the elderly at high risk for COVID-19, but they have also seen the most growth in consumption rates

The use of cannabis by the elderly are putting them at an even higher risk than they already are. 

What Do You Do?

If you don’t already smoke cannabis – now isn’t the time to start!

If you are a cannabis consumer, be very aware of your body and who you come into contact with. You don’t want to confuse yourself or healthcare workers when it comes to showing symptoms. 

The bottom line when it comes to smoking cannabis during COVID-19 according to Rizzo is: “It’s common sense that anything you inhale that has been combusted and contains particles or chemicals can inflame your airways,” he said. “So you’re already making your body fight off foreign particles before it even has to fight off the infection.”

Now might be a good time to put down the joint or bong for a while and start experimenting with edibles and oils!

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[…] do at this point. Smoke, whether it be from a joint, cigarette or even a braai, can cause certain complications with COVID-19.  As much as it is helping us all get through this tough time, it might be time to change […]