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Since December 2019, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been terrorizing our planet as if it’s the return of the Black Plague.
San Benito County has declared a “state of emergency”. Italy is in lockdown. Europe has been cut off. The NBA cancelled March Madness. Disneyland is shutting down for the rest of the month. Coachella has been postponed. And, our upcoming cannabis trade show – Hall of Flowers – is no longer “upcoming”.
Pandemonium has been spreading as quickly as the coronavirus. But, has the havoc been warranted? Or, is the fear and panic more deadly than the virus itself?
Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) now officially declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, they also reassure the virus will most likely only cause mild illness. Many of the deaths have been of the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions. (Keeping perspective, this isn’t much different in effect than the flu or other viruses.) Unless you’re older or already have a weak/compromised immune system, the worst you’ll suffer from the coronavirus is probably just a mild fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The CDC has advised the world of proper hygiene guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19. (Still keeping perspective, these hygiene tips are really no different than what we should be doing to take care of ourselves on a regular basis). The one suggestion they seem to have left out, is to consume cannabis.
Yes, folks… We know it may be bold of us to claim or suggest, but the best thing you can do right now to defend yourself against the coronavirus, is to consume cannabis. (Don’t pass your joints and germs around, though).
Stress has a HUGE influence on your immune system.
Stress causes your body to produce higher levels of the hormone cortisol. In small amounts, cortisol can boost your immunity by limiting inflammation (which is why cortisol shots are given to prevent pain and inflammation in local areas). Over time, however, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood, which can allow for even more inflammation.
Stress also decreases the body’s ability to produce lymphocytes – white blood cells that fight off infections. The lower your lymphocyte levels, the more at risk you are for viruses like the flu (and COVID-19).
Whether it’s from daily life, depression, anxiety, the fear of a global viral outbreak, or something else entirely – too much stress disallows your immune system from being able to properly protect you. Too much stress can even exacerbate some chronic conditions, including: arthritis, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cancer, and heart disease.
If you’ve read our blog about the medical benefits of marijuana, then you should know cannabis has oxidative properties and is helpful in relieving many of the ailments just listed. In low doses, THC can help you manage your stress. If you’re sensitive or adverse to THC (the cannabinoid that gets you high), CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can help you keep your stress to a minimum.
Marijuana has long been known to contain antimicrobial cannabinoids. Recent research by the American Society of Microbiology has proven CBD to have a similar effect and potency to some common antibiotics. Plus, CBD is less likely to cause resistance than existing antibiotics, working to kill bacteria within as little as 3 hours by disrupting the biofilm and making it easier to penetrate.
However, CBD tends to be bacteria selective. While helpful for gram-positive bacteria in skin infections and pneumonia, it’s not as helpful against gram-negative bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. Unfortunately, tests on severe COVID-19 patients are resulting in more gram-negative bacteria than gram-positive. But by “severe”, we mean the cases where the coronavirus has surpassed a mild cough to failure of the respiratory system.
Let’s type it louder for the people reading in the back: THE CORONAVIRUS IS ONLY DANGEROUS ONCE IT REACHES THE LUNGS. The WHO reports only one in seven (~14%) will develop difficulty breathing, with 6% becoming critical. The 6% may suffer failure of the respiratory system, or septic shock (sepsis is when gram-negative bacteria becomes most prevalent).
As much as we love pre-rolls, we can’t necessarily recommend smoking, because smoking compromises the lungs. Also, we aren’t saying that CBD will or can kill COVID-19 if you already have it. (Actually, we’re saying the science proves it won’t and can’t.)
What we are saying, is the regular use of CBD topicals, tinctures and edibles can help protect your system from bacteria and reduce your risk of getting sick in general. Combined with a less compromised immune system due to lower stress levels, your chances of getting through this pandemic unscathed are starting to look pretty good.
Not to be redundant here, but seriously: The biggest threat that COVID-19 poses to our global health (and economy), is how stressed out the world keeps getting about it.
Death and disease, especially in old age and weak health, are just realities of life; that as a society, we can’t afford to keep behaving in fear of.
Statistically speaking, the coronavirus is far from the most lethal contagion running rampant on this planet. There have only been 37 deaths out of 1200 cases in the US so far, with a low mortality rate of 3-5%. (Compare that to the Marburg virus, which kills roughly 80% of people who get infected. Or, influenza – which has already taken 10,000 lives this year.) Around the world, there’s been 125,000 cases and 4,000 deaths from COVID-19 – out of an estimated 7.5 billion total human beings. To reiterate, most deaths have been of those age 65+ with pre-existing conditions.
To echo a sentiment from our partner, Tommy Chong: “If more people were stoned, there would be less violence in the world.”
The next time you feel yourself getting worked up over news regarding the coronavirus, do yourself a favor and get high/take some CBD. If you start feeling the urge to go on Amazon and buy ingredients to make yourself more hand sanitizer, go to your nearest dispensary or buy hemp CBD oil online instead.
If nothing else, smoking cannabis will distract you from the turbulent stock market for 1-2 hours. (Pro-tip: Edibles will distract you for 4-6 hours.)