The coronavirus pandemic caused by the virus COVID19 has triggered a major disturbance across the globe. On April 11 2020, there have been over 1.6 million+ confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID19) worldwide. In addition, COVID19 has caused an interesting turmoil in the cannabis industry, whether it’s regarding the market trends or the cancellation of most 420 events to changed consumption behaviors. More importantly, there are a lot of trolls online that are claiming, without scientific and clinical evidence that there are beneficial affects of cannabis in preventing and curing COVID19. This is false!
The purpose of this article is to provide the most up to date information on the Corona virus impact on the cannabis market, and exposing false rumors about cannabis being any type of treatment currently against the Corona virus. Although, there is a push for Clinical trials in Canada to see if there is any medical treatment properties from any of the cannabinoids in Cannabis for the Corona Virus.
Simply, no it cannot! There are a lot of false claims being made online that are saying CBD or Cannabis can prevent or cure this coronavirus. This is false! There are no solid scientific evidences proving that CBD has any preventative or curable effects of COVID19. Mid-march 2020, the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) has posted on LinkedIn regarding these false claims. Yes, cannabis has been found to potentially have antibacterial and antiviral effects. But, as of date, the statement by the IACM Board emphasized that there is no evidence that individual cannabinoids (CBD and THC) can protect against COVID19. Likewise, there is also no evidence showing that there is an increased risk of viral infection, if cannabis is consumed.
Sharing joints, vapes, pipes and bongs is a bad idea – The main transmission route for COVID19, which resulted in this global lockdown, is via respiratory droplets. These droplets can spread when you talk, cough, sneeze and can also survive on several surfaces for hours. By sharing joints, vapes, pipes and bongs, you might be risking yourself to contracting the virus. Another route the virus can take is via your hands to your face. Let’s say, you touch a surface such as a bong that has been contaminated by the virus. Then you go home…but on your way home, your eye becomes itchy and you rub it. Yikes! It’s important to note, that this coronavirus can enter through your nose, eyes, and mouth.
Don’t smoke, if you’re sick – Since, there aren’t any solid data presently available regarding the correlation between cannabis and its impact on the lung health, it’s best if smoking is avoided if you’re sick or show COVID19-associated symptoms. COVID19 is a respiratory infection and has been shown to be infecting the nose, throat, and lungs at various degrees across the population. During this time, it is better, if you can keep your lungs as healthy as possible, if the worst happens.
Frequent hand washing – Hand-washing would be one of the most effective ways to protect oneself from this coronavirus. According to the Ontario Ministry of Health, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after you come from the outside or the washroom can help reduce your risk of contracting this virus.
Social distancing – Keeping a safe distance at least 2 meters or 6ft or a size of a hockey stick apart, is highly recommended by officials across the world. This shouldn’t be too difficult, as 52% of cannabis users consume alone.
Follow government guidelines only – The primary focus of this blog was to emphasize the fact that there are several bogus claims by unreliable sources being made, online: whether its regarding Cannabis beneficial effects for COVID19, to false scientific evidences about certain drugs that work 100%, to scammers trying to get your bank account information etc. To avoid all these false claims and ensure all the information you are getting are accurate, use official sources such as the government online resource and press conferences by leaders.
As of now, it is unknown whether this coronavirus can survive on weed and weed products. As most cannabis products come from various sources, a good practice is to clean and disinfect any packaging you bought it in before use (wear gloves and face mask when doing this). Thoroughly wash your hands before prepping your cannabis and don’t lick the raw buds. As this coronavirus is known to die in really high temperature, the best thing to do to prevent the risk of exposure is to heat the product or make edibles.
Unfortunately, after there was a spike in sales before the government lock downs at the fear of cannabis dispensaries being shut, sales have been falling. It looks like now the cannabis industry is taking a hit just like many other industries during this pandemic. As the global economy is slowly heading towards recession, what would happen to the cannabis industry? It is predicted by many investors (e.g. Prohibition Partners and International Monetary Fund (IMF)), that there will be a drastic shift in consumer behaviors in the future.
Many, including businesspeople, owners, and investors are calling this industry “recession proof”. Users that buy and consume medical cannabis are predicted to maintain the current levels of consumption. However, the biggest shift in consumer behavior will be seen from non-medical (recreational) users. According to many stock market findings, consumers in North America and Europe have been bulk-buying cannabis of all types (edibles, flower, oils etc.), over the months. Flower sales went up to 21%, pre-rolls and edibles up by 14%. Although, experts don’t believe this increase will remain throughout the crisis, as consumer behaviors will change over time. For example, people will start to prioritize their money on other essentials as money becomes tight from the loss of income from work during this Pandemic.
If you are immune-compromised, have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart conditions, lung disease etc. it is recommend by all officials that you stay at home. Companies such as flowercompany.com have taken measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus during deliveries. This is a delivery service that operates in California. They are instructing their drivers to drop off the package either on a car hood with the customer or at near by the customers front door.
One of the problems that arise with medical cannabis patients, is majority of them suffer from a chronic illness that causes them to be immunosuppressed. For those that are at high risks of contracting COVID19, there are a few options that could be taken to ensure safety of these patients. There are online ordering and delivery services, where orders can be placed over the phone or online and then be delivered to you; and there is telemedicine. Telemedicine allows you to have virtual appointments with doctors whether for consultation or prescription renewal.
The closure of many small non-essential businesses has lead to many people losing their jobs, their sense of security and just the feeling of uncertainty. Fortunately, for the cannabis businesses, recreational marijuana dispensaries have been identified as essential business across the USA and Canada. The reason being? Firstly, Cannabis is a substance that many people rely on for therapeutic purposes and to alter the state of mind when feeling down. Secondly, all cannabis dispensaries being declared as essential businesses will avoid a surge in untaxed black-market activity.
Although cannabis stores were recently considered by Canadian law to be essential during this pandemic. The government of Canada just ordered (April 3 2020) the private sector of cannabis business owners to shut down their stores. This move allows only government cannabis stores online to generate revenue during the Corona virus shut down.
How is Canada doing so far? Reasonably well when data analysis is compared to the spread rate in the United States, Italy and China. However, according to the Public Health Canada, the risks to Canadians are still considered high. Recently(April 2 2020) the number reported for the Corona Virus deaths in Canada surged to 161, it was reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
600+ according to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ A website which gets its data directly from Government's communication channels, and is even used by John Hopkins.
The president of the United States has recently announced (April 1st 2020) that the death toll numbers in the upcoming weeks for America can be as devastating as 100,000 to 240,000. Eevery day the death toll continues to increase Americans have died from the Corona Virus.
Currently (4/11/2020) over 20,000+ according to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
It seems Canadian officials are now looking into the cannabis industry for help in testing for COVID19. According to BNN Bloomberg, Health Canada’s Director General Joanne Garrah began asking the industry if there are any spare lab capacity and/or equipment for COVID19 testing. Cannabis companies like Aurora Cannabis Inc. said they are looking at ways they could help within their R&D team and if they have the capacity to run COVID19 testing. For now, the industry has donated essential equipments such as masks and gloves and is hoping to start contributing in the testing side of things if HC permits.