Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis & COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are practicing social distancing and taking precautions to stay protected from the newly discovered disease. This also generates questions such as whether cannabis use helps in fighting the COVID-19. Marijuana is proven beneficial for managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
It contains amazing cannabinoids, which attach to the cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. This helps in regulating mood, memory, appetite, and various other functions.
Also Read- How Can Marijuana Help in Managing PTSD Symptoms?
CDC Guidelines to Protect Yourself From COVID-19
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. However, you can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid going to crowded places and mass gatherings.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth face cover when around other individuals.
- Use a tissue when sneezing or coughing
- Clean & disinfect the frequently touched surfaces regularly at home
Does Marijuana Help Fight The COVID-19?
The simple answer is no. There’s no scientific evidence saying that marijuana can help cure or prevent the COVID-19.
Smoking marijuana may increase the chances of infection. According to a recent study by UCLA professor Dr. Donald Tashkin, regular marijuana smoking can enhance the risks of chronic bronchitis.
As smoking anything can cause health risks, many expert doctors believe that avoiding smoking is a great idea to stay protected in this difficult time. However, you can prefer safe cannabis consumption methods discussed later in this post.
Although marijuana use doesn’t cure the COVID-19, it can help boost wellness in various other ways that are discussed below.
Cannabis Manages Anxiety
The coronavirus pandemic has increased risks of psychological conditions, of which anxiety is one. This time, people are anxious about their careers, families, and the future.
According to the Centers for Disease & Control (CDC), stress about the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to sleep problems, fear & worry about the health of loved ones, worsening of chronic illnesses, and changes in eating patterns.
Cannabis’ active cannabinoids such as THC and CBD have medicinal properties, and they can help boost mood, appetite, memory, etc., thus managing panic attacks, anxiety, stress, and depression.
In a recent study, Washington State University examined the effects of cannabis use on patients with stress, depression, and anxiety. Researchers analyzed the results of different strains & dosages and concluded that marijuana use helped with various psychological benefits.
THC, a psychological cannabinoid, has a similar chemical structure as that of anandamide and can help in changing the way brain communication works.
Cannabis Boosts Sleep
Sleep is important. It helps relax the body and mind. The coronavirus anxiety can lead to sleep problems.
According to Sleep Foundation, as people are adjusting to stay-at-home orders and try to stay healthy, focusing on sleeping well can provide various health benefits.
Marijuana’s therapeutic properties can help in boosting sleep while managing anxiety, depression, and stress. The cannabinoids stimulate the endocannabinoid system (ECS), thus providing calming effects and relaxing the body.
In a study published in 2008, researchers analyzed the effects of high-THC strains on sleep. They found that cannabis helped in reducing REM sleep, and boosting deep sleep. REM sleep is a sleep phase that involves rapid eye movements, more dreaming, etc.
Marijuana’s non-psychoactive compound CBD provides relaxing and calming effects. Those who don’t want to experience high effects associated with cannabis can try CBD products.
Marijuana Relieves Pain
Pain is one of the most common causes of long-term disability among people in the United States. This condition is also linked to depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, etc.
Medical researchers have found that cannabis use can help in relieving pain, nausea, etc. The cannabinoids in marijuana work by binding to the cannabinoid receptors. For example, CBD interacts with the pain receptors, thus delivering anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
Many studies have been performed to evaluate the effects of cannabis compounds in pain management. They concluded that different parts of cannabis such as THC deliver specific effects while consuming the whole plant offers the entourage effect.
Also Read- Entourage Effect – What’s it & How Does it Help?
According to a 2015 review, several trials showed positive results, confirming that marijuana use helps in relieving chronic pain.
It’s important to note that marijuana doesn’t deliver the same effects to everyone. The effects may vary depending on the type of strains consumed, dosage, method of consumption, metabolism rate, etc.
Cannabis Boosts Immune System
The immune system is responsible for protecting the body from viruses, bacteria, etc. thus preventing diseases and boosting health. Experts believe that boosting the immune system can help reduce the risks of the COVID-19.
Research says that maintaining healthy habits such as exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, getting a good night’s sleep, managing anxiety & stress levels, etc. can help strengthen the immune system.
Cannabis can also help in boosting the immune system. How could it help? Marijuana delivers anti-inflammatory effects, thus reducing the chances of viruses and infections.
Medical researchers have found that cannabinoids can help in boosting the immune system of patients with HIV/AIDS.
Safe Ways to Consume Marijuana
Listed below are some risk-free ways to deliver cannabinoids into the body-
It involves heating cannabis using a vaporizer to generate vapors and inhaling them to receive medicinal effects.
Marijuana-infused products such as cookies, drinks, pills, brownies, gummies, etc. can be taken alone or mixed with drinks or foods. Usually, edibles last longer than smoking or vaping.
Cannabis oils and tinctures can be consumed orally or sublingually and can help receive the therapeutic effects without inhalation.
Marijuana-infused creams, lotions, and balms, which provide localized relief from pain and inflammation.
Talk to your doctor to seek professional help related to the right cannabis consumption method for your condition.
Getting an MMJ Card During COVID-19 Outbreak
Practicing social distancing is the best way to stay protected from the coronavirus. Thus, visiting a medical marijuana clinic isn’t safe this time. However, you can apply for MMJ recs from home using telemedicine technology. It’s 100 percent safe. Here’s the complete process-
- Sign up an account
- Talk to a licensed doctor through a HIPAA-compliant platform
- Receive your MMJ rec letter in PDF format through the email
Cannabis has many health benefits, but there’s no scientific evidence that it can help cure the COVID-19. However, the herb can help people staying at home to promote wellness in various ways. Cannabis use relieves pain and inflammation, boosts sleep, relieves anxiety, and depression. It’s cannabinoids stimulate the endocannabinoid system of the body, thus regulating mood, memory, sleep, and other bodily functions.
Since cannabis smoking may not be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can prefer other consumption methods such as vaping, topicals, edibles, and tinctures. Talk to a licensed doctor to discuss your condition, and seek professional help for what’s right for you.