Sharing is a key element of cannabis culture. It’s both a manner of social interaction and a social ritual. The arrival of Covid-19, however, calls for special attention from every member of society so as not to pass on coronavirus in this form.

Up close, Covid-19 looks like this. Photo: Niaid

Up close, Covid-19 looks like this. Photo: Niaid

Where we are

The outbreak began in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province in December 2019. Days ago, the World Health Organisation recognised it as a pandemic. There have now been more than 162,000 cases in about 140 countries, killing more than 6,000 people. Reports of burial pits in Iran have been exaggerated, but there have been more than 500 deaths there. The first major outbreak in Europe was in Italy, which has now seen over 90 deaths, riots at prisons, travel restrictions in some places and shortages of hospital beds. The government of North Korea denies that the disease is present in the country, but there have been reports that more than 200 soldiers died of it.

Droplets of saliva released when someone coughs or sneezes are how to pass on coronavirus. Carriers can be asymptomatic but still transmit the illness. It was thought that the incubation period was 14 days, but it could be as much as 24 days. Worse still, in Wuhan, a 20-year-old woman passed Covid-19 to five family members without getting sick herself.

How, then, can you take cannabis but not receive or pass on coronavirus?

Smoking

Smoking is most cannabis users’ fave method of consumption. It’s also one of Covid-19’s favourite methods of transmission because multiple people will put the same thing in their mouths. The trick is to have separate joints or use a bong condom.

Edibles

One would have thought that cannabis edibles were how to not pass on coronavirus, but some risk remains. To avoid contaminating food with saliva, when it comes in a can or jar, people should refrain from putting the food in their mouths and then placing their hands in the container; put the edibles onto separate plates. With larger products, such as brownies, chocolate bars or biscuits, people shouldn’t bite into the same portion: use a knife to split the food into portions. If the product is a beverage, use separate glasses.

Drops

Cannabis tinctures and oils have been growing in popularity because they act so quickly. So don’t share droppers.

Other tips

Outlandish claims about coronavirus are spreading, usually by social media. Ignore them, especially the one about cannabis preventing the condition; per the WHO, “there is still no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat” coronavirus. If you are able to, work from home. Avoid public gatherings and cancel any you planned yourself. Try to keep six feet between you and other people. Don’t shake hands as a greeting; instead, wave or greet people verbally. Shop when traffic is lower, ie early in the morning or later in the day. Don’t bog down the NHS if you have nothing more than a cold, but do seek attention if you have fever, coughing, shortness of breath or have been in contact with a Covid-19 sufferer.

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