Updated on November 22, 2021.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The coronavirus pandemic has hit hard, and people are taking precautions. Many have questions about weed, smoking, THC, edibles, CBD, and how it impacts health during these uncertain times. And of course, there is a lot of misinformation out there about cannabis and the Novel Covid-19 coronavirus.
Coronavirus has affected the cannabis industry (like other business sectors). However, the impact has been positive for the most part, leading to record-breaking sales in 2020 in many legalized states. Covid-19 may have advanced the medical cannabis sector in the United States in many ways.
Cannabis Commerce Boosted by Covid-19 Coronavirus
Cannabis and Coronavirus have crossed paths, too, when it comes to business. The Coronavirus has caused a transition of cannabis commerce across North America. It has influenced, runs on stores, closures, curbside (or “herb side) pickups, and delivery orders. Dispensaries had to quickly transition to e-commerce (if they hadn’t already).
Most 420 events statewide were canceled for health and safety. Personal behavior has changed as more people avoid sharing joints and pipes. Still, cannabis users are finding new ways to celebrate while preventing infections.
Congress and the White House negotiated over $450 billion business relief funds. Unfortunately, none of it will be available for any cannabis company or any companies that do business with cannabis companies. Still, sales of cannabis and cannabis products have skyrocketed during the pandemic. According to the New York Times, a good example is weed edibles, which are selling well.
Some ancillary cannabis businesses did receive PPP funds. They were marketing firms and consultancies. However, companies involved in the cultivation, manufacturing, processing, or retailing of medical marijuana were disqualified. There were some exceptions, like MassRoots, which received funds from the SBA (Small Business Administration) in May.
The Health and Safety Orders
By now, most Americans are aware of the social distancing requirements. Some states have enacted laws and fines for not following prevention protocols. If you are medical marijuana or Adult-Use consumer, here are some tips to reduce your risk of infection.
Stocking up on your cannabis supplies for at least 30 days is advisable to limit the store trips. Almost everyone started doing this in March. And it also led to marijuana shortages in some states.
Frequent hand-washing is also advisable. Soap kills the virus from your hands when you come into contact with contaminated surfaces. Use an antibacterial and antiviral cleanser where possible.
Avoid sharing joints, blunts, and bongs. Understandably, the puff-and-pass custom for recreational users is part of the culture. But, passing the joint around is a very effective way of spreading the virus. Bogart your pipes.
Keeping social distance by staying 6 feet apart in public places. Staying at home as often as possible is the best practice. Reduce trips outside the house where you can. Cancel going to any events that might expose you to the virus.
Cannabis Or CBD Cure Or Prevent Covid-19?
No, the outlandish claims about cannabis curing and preventing Coronavirus are not valid. There is no scientific proof that cannabis can cure this virus. There is also no proof that it protects against Covid-19. Therefore, keep all the precautions in place.
However, CBD oil may help individuals who contract the Covid-19 virus. Cannabinoids can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
The Designation of Medical Cannabis as an “Essential Service”
Most states have kept medical marijuana dispensaries open as essential parts of the healthcare system. Some states shut down adult-sales and kept the medical sales going. Other states still allow only delivery or curbside pickup.
Is It Safe To Consume Cannabis If You Contract Covid-19?
Dr. Junella Chin, a New York-based physician, says it is safe to consume cannabis during the Covid-19 period. As long as a person doesn’t show the Covid-19 symptoms, maintaining physical and mental is paramount. Smoking weed when having a cold is not comfortable and doesn’t cure it.
Marijuana for inflammation may help, though. According to Dr. Junella Chin, the New York-based physician, it can help reduce aches and pains. If cannabis is part of your doctor-supervised wellness regimen, there is no apparent need to stop. But you can talk to your marijuana doctor if you have concerns.
Legalization and Legislative Slowdown
There have been many cancellations this year due to Coronavirus. Larger-scale shopping malls and commercial districts have seen low pedestrian traffic. But the segue to e-commerce has helped the medical cannabis industry flourish during Covid-19. Some state legalization campaigns died down because of the stay-at-home orders and Coronavirus’s focus. Many states, however, will see marijuana law proposals or amendments on the November 2020 election ballot.