If you are a cannabis consumer then it is likely that in the past few days and weeks you will have considered the question, “Does cannabis protect you from Coronavirus?” Maybe you have discussed it in conversations with friends, or perhaps you’ve just considered it in the privacy of your own thoughts, even if just for a moment.
Of course the question is a ridiculous one. With a new virus on the block and no cure on the horizon, it would be an incredible twist in the cannabis tale if it was discovered that weed was the miracle cure for Coronavirus (COVID-19). However, it is quite natural to have such irrational thoughts faced with a sense of helplessness and the stirrings of panic behaviour around us – a little bit like stockpiling toilet paper for instance.
Cannabis and Coronavirus - The Echo Chamber
Gossip and rumour is a dangerous thing and in the era of the social media echo chamber fake news can travel fast which is why some people still haven’t got the message that a news item from February saying Weed Kills Coronavirus was totally false.
With the public in a state of panic around the world, governments and social media platforms are cracking down on false claims being made. In the USA the Food and Drug Administration has also been warning CBD companies about making unrealistic health claims.
Cannabis has a long history of association with the underground culture and it is here, away from the mainstream that false claims continue to spread in Whatsapp and Snapchat communications. One Whatsapp post being circulated claims; ‘Marijuana provides Endocannabinoid (sic). When heated by burning, the fat molecules will be distributed to the alveoli in the lung causing the Covid-19 virus to be immobilized.”
Paradise Seeds has been working with medical cannabis providers and licensed producers for many years. It is also closely connected with the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour which funds independent research into medical cannabis (to study the effects of cannabis on cancer). We have seen, at first hand, the extensive research and development process required – which can take years - before any potential treatment is deemed safe for public use.
Cannabis, Colds and Flu
There is increasing research into the endocannabinoid system and its importance for maintaining the health of the human body. The cannabinoid CBD has been linked with restoring homeostatic balance and this is certainly acknowledged to have wide ranging health benefits.
It is also true that cannabis has been identified as having anti-inflammatory properties. With cold and flu infections, airways become inflamed and the aches and pains in muscles and joints are the consequence of inflammation. It is also known that cannabis suppresses the immune system and, as a result, it is suggested that it may reduce fever. However, this aspect could also contribute to a viral infection lasting longer as a result.
Unfortunately, there is little actual scientific evidence to support these claims, and if there was, the common cold and flu strains are ‘known quantities’. Coronavirus is a completely unknown quantity and as such to make any claims is not only foolish, but also dangerous.
At this stage it’s hard to predict where the Coronavirus will go. We all hope it won’t be another influenza pandemic, like the devastating 1918 Spanish Flu which killed more people than the First World War. Until this virus is better understood, however there are simple steps to take to limit the personal threat, which have been well documented. If you want to protect yourself against Coronavirus the best soap bar option is the one that sits on your bathroom sink.
Will Coronavirus Change Weed Etiquette?
Cannabis has always enjoyed a reputation for being a very sociable activity. Since the 1960s, the ritual of passing a joint has been associated with sharing the experience, sharing the love and sharing the trust. Unfortunately, in 2020 passing the joint could lead to the sharing of something far more unpleasant.
One of the fascinating things about the Coronavirus scare is how it is changing social behaviour. It is well known that Coronavirus is most effectively spread by droplets in the air from sneezing and coughing, so here’s something else to consider - according to VJ Sleight, author of "How to Win at Quitting Smoking, exhaled smoke will travel up to 20ft. Is it only a matter of time before the Seth Rogen method of consumption becomes the only way to smoke cannabis socially?