Coronavirus and cannabis: Harm reduction and mental health in quarantine

Tips for maintaining mental balance and harm reduction methods when consuming marijuana, during the Coronavirus season

Lately, the media has been dominated by the pandemic that we are experiencing – Covid-19, CoronaVirus, has come to shake up our lives and bring awareness to various issues that were being hidden by the rush of everyday life. Several countries have already decreed emergency status, closed their borders and recommended that the population should stay in their houses unless they really need it. It is a routine break for millions of people around the world. Being at home (for those who have the privilege of having one), with limited activities, connected to the news can bring challenges and anxieties – and also calls for greater attention to some activities – including cannabis use (as we mentioned in our other text,  cannabis can be part of the “cure” and the “cause” of anxiety for many)

Health authorities around the world, including the WHO (World Health Organization), recommend social isolation even for those who have not had contact with infected patients or visited the countries most affected by the crisis recently. For those who can stay at home, it’s time to prevent and prepare our bodies to keep this virus away. After all, even those who are not at risk can contribute to the spread of the virus – there are people who carry and do not even feel the symptoms.

But how to deal with it without panicking and, especially, without generating triggers if you have a psychological disorder? Facing confinement can generate anxiety, but we are all in this together!!! In addition to these issues, cannabis use during this period also needs attention and care. Therefore, we want to give you some tips with a holistic approach on how to deal with this phenomenon – after all, we need to take care of our body, mind and spirituality to have a balance.

Staying at home without freaking out

According to a study published by the British magazine Lancet, it is necessary to take extra care with our MENTAL HEALTH during periods of isolation and quarantine. If you already know that you will be home for a long time, the best thing to do to avoid fear and anxiety is to plan a ROUTINE that includes work, studies, leisure, hobbies. Structuring daily activities helps to maintain the notion of time, and also to have discipline to continue fulfilling daily tasks – not to mention that cleaning in that closet at the bottom that is in need of new air.

Catch up on your hobbies: paint, draw, embroider, move furniture and look for that D.I.Y. Pinterest that you’ve always loved, but never had time to do. The time has come to make good use of it.

Start a garden: the cure for everything is in nature, and a moment like this shows how growing your own food, medicines and spices can be useful – in addition to a therapeutic practice

Talk to the people you love: in addition to the good old connection, there are several ways to stay close to the people you care about – even from afar. Stay in touch, make video calls when you feel lonely and chat with your family, friends and even the WhatsApp workgroup.

Up-to-date books, series and movies: there are some streaming services and eBooks that are being released for free so that people have what to do while staying at home. How about taking advantage? In this link, you can see some super interesting options!

Exercise: on a daily basis, we exercise by doing things of our own routine – from walking to work or walking to the market. In quarantine, don’t forget to keep your body active. Practice yoga, stretching and functional exercises that you can do in your space.

Eat well: eating meals at the usual times, with a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, will help you maintain physical and mental health during this period. Prefer varieties rich in vitamin C, such as citruses and dark green leaves, as they give a good boost to our immunity! Vitamin D and zinc are also great for this. Medicinal mushrooms are also an amazing strategy to fight against virus!

Take the time for self-awareness: relaxation and meditation practices help to reduce anxiety and are super recommended tools for those who want to know their body better. Who knows it’s time to start? Look for guided classes on YouTube and follow the one that best suits your way.

Where does cannabis come in?

Well, we’ve already seen the impacts for the cannabis community out there: related products, coming from China or Europe, are already much more difficult to find. In addition, major events, such as Spannabis, were canceled precisely because of the danger of contagion in agglomerations. In the Netherlands, queues to buy cannabis at coffee shops before they closed during the quarantine made the government change its mind and see that it was better to keep them open even in the pandemic.

But something that affects even more people is the practice of the smoke wheel, which will have to undergo some changes to happen safely.

Harm Reduction and Corona:

We know that the Corona Virus drastically affects the respiratory system. Leading us to believe that smoke is not the best option for this moment. All Harm Reduction strategies that contribute to better lung health are needed now. Between them:

  • Vaporize instead of smoking through the combustion process
  • Make a cannabis recipe – edibles are a great strategy to get high in the clouds without having to inhale any kind of smoke or vapor – just be careful with the dose
  • Gradually reduce the consumption of TOBACCO (yes, no drastic changes are ok? self quarantine is already a lot)

And of course, the usual strategies: the best way to stay safe is use cannabis without sharing the joint, bong, or pipe. Although it is part of the cannabis culture, this kind od sharing has to stop now – for the sake of Jahs folowers! One of the forms of contagion is contact with the saliva or other fluids of infected people (and it is good to remember that not everyone who has Covid-19 has its symptoms).

  • Wash your hands before handling your paraphernalia or cannabis itself.
  • Always keep a bottle of alcohol gel or wipes moistened with alcohol for cleaning (both yours and your non-disposable accessories).
  • For now, prefer long paper cigarette holders, which can be promptly discarded after use.
  • Any object used to consume cannabis must be sanitized immediately after use, preferably with 70% alcohol.

Remember that, although the elderly are always more cited, smokers are also at risk. So try to find other ways to use cannabis if you can! It is also important to maintain the balance of this habit. Abrupt changes in consumption, both for more and for less, are noticed by our body and can have negative consequences for health. If you want to increase or decrease usage, do it gradually!

Things to remember

As we are tired of reading around, the best thing to do is make sure you have enough at home and spend most of your time in isolation – except in emergencies. That is:

  • This is not the time to go to the nearest market and act like it’s the end of the world. The result can be a lot of people without groceries, and their spare or spoiled in the refrigerator.
  • Have awareness and civility.
  • Need medicine? The ideal is to store enough for twenty days. The orientation is basically the same as in the question of groceries. If you are left, you may be missing someone.
  • If you are unable to be in total isolation (after all, we know that the employment status of many does not allow a home office and, until the second call, stores, markets and other institutions work normally), do your utmost to keep yourself clean and free of germs . For that, you will need to take some actions:
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay at home when you are sick, with cold symptoms.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it in the trash.
  • In the absence of a handkerchief, cover your mouth with the inside of your forearm.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cell phones.
  • Avoid contact with people over 60, in treatment of any condition and with low immunity, which are the main risk group.

It is always important to remember that even if you are not at risk, you can still be responsible for spreading the virus. So be responsible: parties and meetings with friends can wait a little!

Remember: it is important to take a holistic approach to the issue of care during isolation. This means that we need to understand that all aspects of our health are intertwined. Physical issues influence mental ones, and vice versa. So seek balance, and don’t forget that, even if we are apart, we are all in this together!

You can continue to count on us, here on the blog or on our social networks, to learn a little more about this cannabis world – and, of course, not to be left without company.

Take care, protect yourself and wash your hands well!



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