Sharing is an important part of cannabis culture. It's especially common in recreational users, for whom the communal use of cannabis is a way of social interaction and even a social ritual.
The outbreak of COVID-19 demands special attention from all members of society in order to mitigate the spread of the disease.
Coronaviruses are most frequently spread person-to-person through respiratory droplets released when coughing or sneezing, which is why most cases of transmission are presented when the infected individuals present symptoms, according to the CDC. Yet one of the main causes of concern with this virus is the fact that carriers can be asymptomatic, yet still transmit the disease.
For this reason, it's important to review our usual habits in order to contain the virus’ dissemination and avoid attitudes that can put us or our close ones at risk.
Here are some ideas on how to maintain the culturally significant habit of collective cannabis use without the risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.
1. Inhalation: Smoking Or Vaping
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Cannabis inhalation remains the most popular method of consumption for cannabis users.
Dried flower, vape cartridges and pre-rolls were the top three sales categories in 2019, according to a report by BDS Analytics.
Unfortunately, this method is as risky as it is popular when it comes to spreading disease.
Whether it’s by combustion or vaporization, most cannabis inhalation devices offer the possibility of common use by multiple users within a single session.
This custom becomes the perfect scenario for the spreading of COVID-19, since placing one’s mouth on an item that has previously been in someone else’s mouth is known to spread the disease.
However, cannabis can be smoked simultaneously without the risk of transmission. Simply avoid using the same device (whether its a vape, a pipe or a joint), and have each user inhale from their own device to prevent transmission.
2. Edibles and Beverages
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While edibles are a great way to share cannabis and reduce the risk of disease spreading, some risk is still present.
What we want to avoid is the contamination of the cannabis infused food with saliva or other fluids that can carry COVID-19.
- In the case of edibles that come in a can or jar (like mints, gummies or chocolate bites) users should avoid taking the food into their mouth with their hands and then dipping the hand in the container, since this will contaminate the remaining food. The best procedure is to take individual portions of the edibles into separate bowls or plates before indulging.
- In the case of larger edibles like brownies, chocolate bars or cookies, users should avoid biting from the same portion. It’s recommended to first split the food in separate portions with a knife.
- Lastly, in the case of beverages, it's best to serve the drink in separate glasses and avoid drinking from the same glass or bottle.
Photo by R+R Medicinals on Unsplash
The popularity of cannabis tinctures and oils in the form of drops has been rising steadily because of its discreteness and fast action. At this point, readers might imagine that taking the dropper someone had in their mouth into one’s mouth is a perfect way to spread possible diseases. For this reason, it is recommended not to share droppers.
The best way to share cannabis drops is to take a clean dropper (one that has never been used to pour drops directly into a user’s mouth) and pour the drops into separate glasses of any drink.
The Spanish version of this article, "3 Maneras de Compartir Cannabis sin Transmitir el Coronavirus," can be found on El Planteo.
Lead image by Javier Hasse
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