COVID-19 has become a global concern, and we all want to know everything we should be doing to increase our odds of staying healthy and safe. By now, most of us know we need to be washing our hands for at least 20 seconds and social distancing, but what about daily habits? What about smoking cannabis? We spoke to specialists in the scientific and medical community to find out.
What’s the harm in smoking?
Dr. Steffanie Strathdee is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has spent her career working on harm reduction in people with drug addictions. Though she does not claim to be an expert in cannabis nor pulmonary medicine, she does believe that at this point in time, smoking is not advisable.
With plenty of alternatives such as edibles, tinctures, and topicals, cannabis can still be a part of your life in a way that won’t add unnecessary irritation to the lungs.
“Right now, we are facing a pandemic where SARS-CoV-2 attacks lung cells, preferentially in the lower respiratory tract. In my view, better to be safe than sorry, so I’d advise anyone who uses marijuana to switch to edibles, especially if they have underlying health conditions like respiratory problems (asthma, COPD), heart problems (hypertension, diabetes), or immune deficiencies,” she said.
The concern is with cilia—parts of cells in our lungs and respiratory tract that assist in keeping airways clear of dirt, mucus, and other irritants. “Younger people may get milder illnesses but I think it stands to reason that you still increase the chance of a serious complication, [like a]secondary bacterial infection, if you get infected with SARS-CoV-2 and you have burned all your cilia,” said Dr. Strathdee.
Lungs with fewer cilia will be less capable of moving viral particles, bacteria, and mucus up and out of the lungs. It’s clear to see why this function is especially important during a time when a severe respiratory virus is circulating.
Read full article here: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/edibles-may-be-better-than-smoking-cannabis-during-pandemic