Cannabis sales have gone through the roof amid this pandemic. People are stocking up like crazy and the industry is surprisingly witnessing a rise. What does this point to? Is cannabis the solution we need? Well, it surely offers an escape but it’s too early to comment if cannabis can reverse the effects of COVID-19. There is plenty of research in progress to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. So, let’s avoid the rumors. It’s logical to think that cannabis possesses great medicinal potential and might help in battling the virus but lack of scientific research keeps us on the edge.
A closer look at the market
Steven DeAngelo, the co-founder of Harborside, one of the largest licensed cannabis businesses in California, says that the current trend is unlike what he has seen before. The company witnessed a 20%-25% rise in sales including the largest sale day ever. It’s not just limited to this business, there are various companies across the US that are seeing a rise in their shares. There is a huge jump in the average store revenue. If we compare it to January, it’s up from 52% to 130%. Similarly, online stores have seen a 152% rise in orders. Well, there are various explanations for this sudden boom in the market. People are stocking up and as the stores are shifting to online deliveries, it’s possible to reach customers that usually source their cannabis supply from local peddlers. With no option in hand, they are using the doorstep delivery contributing to the overall rise in the market.
Can cannabis prevent the coronavirus?
Honestly speaking, we don’t have enough evidence to claim that cannabis can prevent the novel coronavirus. In fact, experts warn against smoking cannabis because it can increase the risk of contracting the virus. There is evidence that smoking cannabis causes lung inflammation, which is a key symptom of bronchitis. COVID-19 primarily affects the respiratory system. So, you should avoid anything that can inflame the lungs. Although the effects of cannabis are less serious than tobacco, smoking anything is highly risky. Regular cannabis smoking leads to cough and phlegm. Now, if we talk about coronavirus, dry cough is a key symptom. So, coughing from smoking cannabis can mimic that symptom and make diagnosis difficult.
Many people using cannabis medicinally, mention that they use smoking as a prime delivery method to manage their condition. So, they don’t find other methods of ingesting cannabis effective. According to experts, they shouldn’t panic. It’s high time people realize the risk that comes with smoking. In such a volatile situation, switching to non-smoking alternatives is the only option you have. You can talk to your cannabis doctor for a better approach. The expert can guide you on taking the right dose for your medical condition.
Cannabis can be helpful in other forms
You should avoid smoking but we’re not asking you to abstain from using cannabis. There are various other ways of ingesting cannabis. This includes edibles, tinctures, sprays, and oils. You can choose the one that suits you best. Let’s not discount the medicinal potential of cannabis. It might not be the cure for coronavirus but there is a lot it can do to keep you in good health. Cannabis exhibits its effects through the mechanism of the endocannabinoid system, which is a network of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. When you ingest cannabis, the active compounds THC and CBD influence these receptors to release the relaxing hormones in the body. This brings a sense of relaxation and ease. Cannabis helps in establishing homeostasis within the body.
Cannabis reduces inflammation
Experts mention that cannabinoids inhibit the immune system’s response to infections. These immunosuppressive qualities arise from the fact that cannabis reduces inflammation. This property can be useful in fighting viruses that use inflammation as a tool to replicate inside the body. Well, it’s still not clear if these immune effects make cannabis helpful in managing coronavirus. Inflammation gives rise to pain and complicates various other conditions. So, if you are suffering from conditions like migraine, epilepsy, or arthritis, cannabis can offer you relief during this pandemic.
Cannabis can reduce coronavirus comorbidities
There are conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes that can complicate coronavirus. In fact, these conditions reduce the body’s ability to recover from the virus making the entire situation more dangerous. Cannabis has the ability to reduce these comorbidities of the coronavirus. It can manage these conditions and reduce the risk associated with the virus. Cannabis can also help patients battle alcohol and tobacco addiction. It offers a safer alternative and contributes to the body immunity. Well, this does not mean that you should start smoking it. You should choose safe ingestion methods and take the right dose for maximum effectiveness.
Cannabis guards cells against low oxygen damage
Oxidative stress can increase the complications of coronavirus. It’s the key component of the virus causing injury to organs like the heart, lungs, and brain. Cannabis reduces oxidative stress and helps with the damage of COVID-19. There are specific cannabinoids that are even patented for this property. This data is definitely helpful but if you’re battling these conditions, it’s better to proceed with caution. Cannabis helps provided you take the right dose. Every person has his or her own experience with cannabis. Some have high tolerance while others are just beginners. So, you need to figure out a dose that works for you. If you are not sure about following the right approach, it’s always better to consult an expert. They can inform you about the risks of the disease and help you in dosing cannabis effectively.
Cannabis calms the ‘cytokine storm’
It’s true that cannabis has various disease-fighting properties that can guard you against various infections. Among these, the herb’s ability to reduce inflammation is highly useful. Experts mention that patients in chronic stages of COVID-19 show signs of an overactive immune response known as a cytokine storm. These storms trigger the inflammation damaging the patient’s own body and eventually leading to death. IL-6 cytokine inhibitors are a class of drugs that can help with this condition. Well, we need more research to ensure if the drugs work. Active compounds THC and CBD have the ability to inhibit IL-6 and could help in preventing these dangerous storms. But we need more research to outline the full range of possibilities.
Even if cannabis is not the cure for coronavirus, you can still use it to enhance your health. It can lift your mood in quarantine and keep you stress-free. In fact, if you are planning to kill time, you can grow your own plants. Just ensure you have a medical marijuana grower license to earn the right to grow freely. On the other hand, cannabis sales are definitely on the rise but we will have to wait to check if cannabis holds the potential to battle coronavirus. So, till then stay safe and follow preventive measures as suggested by your local health authority.