During COVID-19 Crisis, Cannabis Smokers Seek Alternatives
With the novel coronavirus present in nearly every country on Earth, many cannabis users are reevaluating their smoking and vaping habits.
It wasn’t even a year ago that the vaping-related lung illness outbreak happened. Vaping, which was touted as a safer alternative to smoking, led to a spate of illnesses— many among young adults. The crisis drew many people’s attention to the potentially damaging effects of inhaling any substance.
Now, with the arrival of a pandemic disease that is causing severe respiratory problems, doctors are sounding the alarms. Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, director of pediatric research at the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital told the New York Times, in no uncertain terms, “Quitting during this pandemic could not only save your life, but by preventing the need for your treatment in a hospital, you might also save someone else’s life.”
One of the main risks smokers and vapers face is an increased chance of developing pneumonia and difficulty getting oxygen. That’s why the shortage of ventilators is so terrifying, and why quitting now— and reducing your risk of needing a ventilator— can save someone else’s life.
To reduce their likelihood of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms, many cannabis users are rethinking how they get their high— kicking the habit cold probably isn’t going to happen right now, anyways.
Stress and anxiety are ratcheted way up. Tens of millions of people in the US are forced to stay at home right now, and many of them have been furloughed or laid off. The rest are trying to transition to working from home or are considered “essential workers” and continue to venture out to their jobs.
The obvious alternative for cannabis users are edibles. If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve probably noticed that about half your feed is full of wanna-be Great British Bake-Off contestants. The calming art of baking is bringing many people joy in these troubled times, and there’s no doubt that many are adding in a few drops of cannabis oil to take the edge off even more.
But as the stay-at home orders extend from March into April and beyond, some might tire of the carbohydrate-laden lifestyle for their cannabis fix.
There are topical applications— salves and balms— that penetrate the skin but not the bloodstream. They can provide relief in the areas they’re applied, but it won’t be the same sort of high as smoking, vaping, or edibles. Like with edibles, you can make these yourself at home or buy one from your local shop where it’s legal— that is, if your state has deemed cannabis an “essential” business-like California and other states.
For those still looking for a similar high to vaping or smoking, tinctures may be a good alternative. Cannabis tinctures are high-dose extracts of THC or CBD suspended in another liquid like high-proof alcohol. A few drops taken directly into the mouth offer a low calorie, fast acting approach, or they can be mixed into juices, smoothies, or salad dressings. If you buy a tincture from the cannabis shop, you might find different flavors like watermelon or vanilla to spice things up. Tinctures, however, can provide inconsistent dosing, especially if you’re creating your own batches.
For cannabis users looking for the ease of vaping and the safety of tinctures, newly arrived sublingual sprays may offer the best of both worlds. CLICK Spray, which just launched a line of sublingual “mouth sprays” made with four proprietary THC and CBD cannabinoid blends, gives users an exact 2.5mg dose of cannabinoids with every spray. And because it’s sublingual, the cannabinoids go straight to your bloodstream and its effects take minutes, not an hour like some edibles.
“We’re all taking extra care of our health these days and, for many, cannabis can be a vital part of a well-rounded self-care routine, said CLICK’s Director of Marketing, Jared Gray. “We hope that as people become more educated on sublingual cannabis delivery, they will consider CLICK Sprays as a consistent, safe and flavorful option.”
For many people, cannabis is an essential medicine to make it through the day in the best of times. In these unprecedented and stressful times, cannabis can be a lifeline to make it through the day. If you’re trying to quit vaping or smoking, give your local cannabis shop a call to learn more about cannabis alternatives. Even though some are deemed essential, many cannabis shops are struggling more than most businesses, as they’re not eligible for federal relief or loans.
Finding the right alternative now from a local shop can help everyone survive until we can all breathe a little easier.