BY RUTH HILL R.N.
There will be many social media posts claiming cannabis will help lower the curve for this world pandemic of Chinese virus (CODIV19.) Be weary and read these claims with a jaundice eye. The more important action you can take is to continue taking your cannabis as you have always been doing.
California’s Department of Public Health has issued an order deeming cannabis retailer workers and workers supporting cannabis retail as “essential critical infrastructure workers” during the statewide coronavirus “stay at home” order. “Because cannabis is an essential medicine for many residents, licensees may continue to operate at this time so long as their operations comply with local rules and regulations.
What is imperative to note is that if you do get COVID19 and need medical attention be sure to inform you medical provider that you are taking cannabis/marijuana. Remember that medical cannabis can reduce your need for warfarin, an anticoagulation medication. If you INR’s are high tell your physician, you may have your dose reduced or eliminated.
Cannabis also can cause your blood sugars to be low. There are CB1 and CB2 receptors in the lungs, heart, digestive system, spleen, and pancreas. “Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988–1994) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” (Rajavashisth BMJ Open 2012) demonstrates that marijuana users who have diabetes will notice that long term use can reduce your reliance on pharmaceuticals. The incidence of diabetes in nonusers of marijuana is 2.4% higher.
Medical cannabis can also reduce the need for opiates and antianxiety medications. If you have already reduced or eliminated your pharmaceuticals for opiates or antianxiety medication be sure to tell your medical provider at the ER so they can act to relieve your symptoms. Better to continue your medical cannabis than be without. There is much anecdotal evidence that stopping cannabis does not cause withdrawal for regular users.
Infections present themselves to medical personal as having a high level of cytokines in the blood stream. Labs that show a high level of C-Reactive indicate an infection. Some infections can cause such an abnormal increase as to cause a “cytokine storm.” This happens with virial infections. A cytokine storm can progress into a Steven-Johnson Syndrome, (SJS).
Steven-Johnson Syndrome presents with symptoms of fever, unexplained widespread skin pain, a red or purple skin rash that spreads, blisters on your skin and the mucous membranes of you month, nose, eyes and genitals, shedding of your skin within days after blisters form. While there is no scientific evidence that medical cannabis can treat COVID19 there may be anecdotal evidence that medical/marijuana cannabis users will have a lower incidence of viral infections. Therefore, it is imperative users share with medical providers that you are taking cannabis. Do not hide this information. It will be valuable in the future when this crisis is over. I am sure someone is going to do a study relating cannabis to treatment for COVID19.
In the meantime, continue your full flower extract of cannabidiol (CBD) and delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinoid (CBD:THC).) A combination of THC with delta9-tetrahydorcannabinolic acid (THC:THCA) is a good combination as THC causes bronchodilation which you want if you are having shortness of breath.
Cannabis products with pinene are shown to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-MRSA and anti-viral properties. These flower strains: Big Smooth, Blue Dream, Cannatonic, Cotton Candy Kush, God’s Gift, Grape Ape, Harlequin, Kosher Tangie, and Remedy are high in pinene terpenes. The cannabidiol in these strains also has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, giving your immune system a good boost to fight complications for the virus. Pinene is found in conifer trees, orange peels, turpentine, pine needles, rosemary, dill, basil, and parsley.
In summary continue social distancing, order take out, play games with your housemates, and wash your hands always. I include the above image for safe practices.
Ruth A Hill RN for any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org