4/20, the unofficial cannabis holiday has taken a significant shift during the event of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 4/20/20 will most likely leave many cannabis consumers, enthusiasts and medical cannabis patients homebound, away from any recreational activities that usually influence cannabis culture around this time of year. During this significant time in cannabis history, changes are rapidly occurring that will influence the near future of cannabis in our world today. For the whole month of April,  The Marijuana Reporter at TheSource.com will be reporting on the most critical cannabis concerns that affect our readers.

The health risks related to the COVID-19  pulmonary disease pandemic has led the average individual to be more pre-cautious about their day to day activities, especially those practices that can lead to increased  health risks.

Cannabis, the super-plant that has been used medicinally for centuries and has recently became legalized amongst many US States and Countries throughout the world. More recently, certain health professionals have warned the public about the increased COVID-19 risks related to smoking anything, such as tobacco and cannabis. Inhaling any substance  increases the inflammation in the airways and lungs and many cannabis users do not use protective measures that help reduce the harmful pulmonary effects related to inhalation.

Since inhaling cannabis medications can create a risk for people to become vulnerable to other health concerns, such as the coronavirus, how would cannabis consumers who are using the mind-altering plant for therapeutic or medicinal purposes still be able to use their medication? How do they understand and measure the risks? How can they use their cannabis medications safely, while reducing their potential for risk or harm?

This Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor says, “Cannabis is a very sophisticated medicine and using medicinal cannabis effectively starts with your consumption method and the behaviors related to that use. Certain individuals have daily cannabis use habits that can be harmful, such as frequent inhaling, which is known to lead to symptoms similar to bronchitis.  Using glass tips and filters when consuming medical marijuana is a harm reduction measure. Using glass products can limit the potential for the inflammation from other substances and the chemicals found in those substances, such as in cigar papers or joints.

Cannabis edibles can also be ingested, as a much healthier consumption method than inhaling Cannabis flowers, oils or concentrates. Though, even ingesting Cannabis can only be safe and effective with the right dosing measures and practices that limit the possibility for overdose. Since ingested cannabis can take anywhere from 45-120 minutes to begin to take its effects, it’s easy for someone to eat a few too many gummies, or take a few too many sweets and be too impaired to function. That’s why knowing how to dose your edibles carefully throughout an extended period of time is important for safe use.

Within the last decade, Cannabis health benefits have been brought to the public’s eye, slowly shifting the way we understand Cannabis. There are other ways to consume cannabis other than inhaling and there are many tools available on the market, such as glass or silicone, that minimizes the risk for someone to develop  health concerns that can increase the risk for illness and poor health. Healthy cannabis use is all about understanding and making the right wellness choices to use natural cannabis medicines the right way to stay happy.

Words by: Sonia Singh, LCSW, LCADC, “The Happy Therapist”, a double board licensed Psychotherapist, who specializes in addressing mental health and wellness concerns with legal cannabis-based medicines and therapy.