BY ANDREW NGUYEN
Photo by Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash
Over the last several weeks, the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has spread across the world. Currently there are more than 110,000 confirmed cases in over 70 countries. In the United States, there have been reported cases in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Florida. While it still does not impact as many people as the flu, it’s still a topic of concern so here’s what we know.
How It Spreads
According to the CDC, coronavirus mainly spreads through close person-to-person contact (within about 6 feet). Specifically, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, they expel respiratory droplets. These can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or be inhaled into the lungs. And it can also spread through surface contact, although that’s less likely. So if an infected person sneezes on a surface, another person who touches that surface could pick up the virus.
How Cannabis Users Can Protect Themselves Against Coronavirus
Stop sharing: Smoking a joint or passing around a bowl is a communal activity that’s great for bringing people together. That being said, sharing anything that other people have put their mouths on is a sure way to spread any kind of virus, including COVID-19. So it’s a good idea to skip on the “puff and pass” for now and stick to your own supply.
Use protection: Get yourself silicone or rubber mouthpieces for your bongs and Pax devices. “Bong condoms” slip right into the top of a bong so you don’t have to put your mouth where someone else’s was.
Smoking while you’re sick is bad: You should stay away from smoking anyway if you’re having cold and flu-like symptoms. Look to other methods that target and relieve specific symptoms instead.
Wash your hands: This tip sounds like a no-brainer but it’s something cannabis users and non-users alike should be doing. In a recent article published by the New York Times, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine Aaron E. Carroll said the best way to avoid contracting the virus is by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water (make sure to get under your nails too). This is crucial before you smoke and eat — especially after you’ve blown your nose, coughed or sneezed.
Some other practical tips: Don’t touch your face (and definitely not with unwashed hands!), reduce physical contact with sick people (no shaking hands), and stay home if you’re sick. And you can skip the mask since they’re most beneficial to people who are infected and don’t want to spread the virus.
What are the Symptoms?
The chances of getting infected are pretty slim so there’s no reason to panic. Still, it’s good to be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. The CDC claims that after two days to two weeks after exposure, symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
How It Affects the Cannabis Industry
The impacts of coronavirus aren’t major, but it’s affecting some aspects of the cannabis industry. Most vape batteries and wholesale vape cartridges are manufactured in China. CEO Pat Lehoux of Feather Co., a vape company that sources most of its products from China, told Bloomberg that they’re experiencing shipment delays of two to four weeks due to epidemic-related factory shutdowns. And since viruses can easily spread where a large group of people are gathered, cannabis-related events like 4/20 celebrations could be put on hold.
MedMen is committed to providing the best experience and safest products on the market. In that vein, we are disseminating information so everyone can maintain their health and consume responsibly. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.