Cannabis is a plant, and it’s meant to be shared. But, when a serious virus is spreading globally, the situation changes. In order to help wipe out the threat to everybody, it becomes each individual’s responsibility to take precautions. By protecting ourselves, we protect one another, and this is especially critical for the cannabis community. After all, it’s quite common for us to share a lot of doobies, but with a threat like COVID-19 looming, toking together is dangerous, irresponsible, and potentially deadly. Let’s set a good example for the entire community by taking some steps to turn our sessions into safety meetings.

Please note – these steps do not guarantee protection from the coronavirus. The best thing that you can do to protect yourself from contracting anything in this respect is consuming your own weed. Many close friends and partners don’t always have the will to take a solo, however, and so these tips are meant to limit the risk of exposure for those people. If you’re going to smoke with a group of people, here are some ways to be smarter about it.

If you are concerned that you could have the coronavirus, contact your doctor or call 811 – and obviously don’t share your weed with anyone.

Coughing

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Considering the way that the coronavirus spreads, coughing from your toke is going to impact the entire environment around you. Be aware that a coughing fit might trigger a lot of fear, especially if you break into dab sweats. Even though it’s just a canna cough, starting a panic is not acceptable and furthermore, it makes every stoner look bad. There is an age-old saying, “you gotta cough to get off.” If that’s the case, try to do so privately. Even so, keep a scarf handy so that you have something to cough into.

Change is coming…

Is it worth it? Is sharing a doobie or having a communal dab rig really worth the risk? Every one of us has to take the initiative to protect our community – it’s not just about you getting sick, it’s about everyone else getting sick too. Stoners love to share, but should not in this case, so get ready for that. If you are about to have a session in a group, establish right away that you don’t plan on sharing. Let’s get used to it and make this the norm. Before you light up your joint, announce the intention. If you are hearing someone else say this, support their message, and set an example for your other buddies. 

If you can’t just smoke your own…smoke your own together

It’s understandable, sometimes you just don’t want to smoke weed by yourself. Some people even swear that they do not get as stoned when smoking alone! Plus, cannabis is medicine, but not everyone understands that; there is a lot of strength in numbers, especially when defending your use. If you really want the communal experience, grind all the buds together and use one-hitters. But be aware, you may ending up toking and passing without realizing it; especially if you get super baked and forget. Here are some ways you can smoke by yourself while having a session:

  • Have everyone bring their own dab rig or nectar collector 
  • Keep a communal torch handy or bottle of butane for anyone who brings their own
  • Roll multiple joints with long filters – have everyone smoke one to their dome 

Making a chamber with your hand

One of the best old school methods of sharing a joint is making a chamber with your own hand. However, using this method puts your mouth on your hands so wash them beforehand. For the best results, keep every lip off the joint and have everyone smoking the joint toke through their hands. 

How to do it
  1. Place the unlit end of the joint between your middle and ring finger, right where your hand and fingers meet
  2. Curl both hands into a ‘C’ shape 
  3. Bring both hands together, leaving a space between your palms and an opening with your thumbs
  4. Seal your lips around your thumb hole and suck through the hand chamber 

Tip – Play around and adjust what you need to in order to create the right seal. If your fingers and hands are airtight, you will be able to pull a hoot through your hand. 

Create barriers between your lips and the joint

Some situations make it really difficult to keep a doobie to yourself. For example, limited access. If everyone is going to share a single joint, there are a number of tools you can use that can greatly reduce the risk of spreading germs. 

  • Keep business cards handy for both you and the other people smoking with you; they can be rolled into a tube that you can wrap around the joint and inhale through. Plus, they are easily discarded, cost-effective and recyclable.
  • Check-in with your local glassblowers and see what kind of funky accessories they make. Glass is easy to sanitize and there are a lot of beautiful options out there. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to support the local art community at a truly beneficial time – with so many concerns surrounding the economy 
  • If you need a durable, heat resistant option, look into the silicone. Thanks to bubble tea, silicone straws come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, making them easy to slip into a dab rig. The goal is to keep your lips off the rig or doobie. If the straw is not the right size enough, you can always use your hand to help create a seal. If you want to go further, there are silicone accessories specifically made for a sanitary stoner. 

In order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the cannabis community needs to step up their game to protect each other. If we don’t, the situation can get real bad, real quick. Cannabis is an incredible plant with so many medical benefits – use it in the right way, at the right time.

References:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention – How COVID-19 Spreads

Page last reviewed: February 28, 2020

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

Mode of antiviral action of silver nanoparticles against HIV-1

Humberto H Lara, Nilda V Ayala-Nuñez, Liliana Ixtepan-Turrent, Cristina Rodriguez-Padilla

J Nanobiotechnology. 2010; 8: 1. Published online 2010 Jan 20. doi: 10.1186/1477-3155-8-1

PMCID: PMC2818642 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2818642/