The role of hygiene while using or dealing with marijuana has changed since the recent development of the Coronavirus pandemic. While you may not have bothered about hygiene when you passed your joint to others before COVID-19 hit the world. Today, caution is important even before you roll up a joint.
Cannabis hygiene is vital because a large US population uses marijuana for a variety of reasons. While some are recreational users, others have a medical marijuana card to use cannabis for their ailments. And unfortunately, the virus can be risky for these people with underlying medical conditions. This is why it is even more important for them to practice proper hygiene while consuming cannabis.
So how do you ensure hygienic conditions with cannabis?
Now, it is not as difficult as you may think. There are some simple steps that you can care for every time you use cannabis. From washing your hands before and after touching anything to proper storage of edibles. This blog is meant for the purpose of elaborating on some of the important points that can help you with maintaining hygiene while using and handling cannabis.
Hygiene tips while smoking cannabis
Smoking is such a common delivery method, that it has become a stereotype for cannabis. This is why most newbies choose to smoke even before exploring other options. And, despite the side effects associated with smoking. The number of smokers in the US is ever increasing. While this was not much of an issue until last year, with COVID-19 spreading like wildfire, smoking cannabis has become very risky. So much so that the 420 doctors, the CDC and the WHO advise against smoking or even vaping.
This is because, first, smoking puts the lungs in stress and increase the chances of developing complications due to COVID-19. And secondly, it also increases the chances of contracting or transmitting the virus by compromising hygiene.
Smoking cannabis has often been associated with certain unsaid rules, also known as marijuana smoking etiquette. This involves the rule of sharing a joint or a bong. In addition to these unsaid rules, not everyone is very regular with cleaning their smoking rigs. So hygiene if thrown out of the window. But, in 2020, if you wish to be safe you will have to follow the following tips to maintain proper hygiene.
1. No sharing
Passing of joints or bongs is not allowed anymore. This is because germs stick easily to paper and make it a direct mode of transmission. As your joints and bongs are always in contact with your hands and mouth. Now, people can be sick and not show any symptoms. So your assumption about someone’s health can be wrong. So if you end up sharing with an infected person, there is no way to avoid getting sick. The virus will enter your body through the contaminated joint or bong and make you sick. However, if you do feel like sharing let everyone roll their own joint and socialize using the internet.
Also, avoid sharing your stash. The germs from the hands of the infected person, or from one who was in contact with a sick individual, can contaminate your stash. And so enter your body.
2. Sanitizing your gears
If you use bongs, water pipes, rolling trays or grinders then you must not ignore on sanitizing your rigs. Because these rigs are always touching your hands and mouth. But, do not confuse cleaning with water as sanitizing. Make sure that your use a cleaning agent with at least 70 percent alcohol to deep clean your smoking apparatus. Or you could use disposable vape pens, as they reduce chances of cross-contamination.
3. Washing your hands
Even after you stop sharing and clean your rigs. Make sure that you are washing your hands before and after touching anything. This is to ensure that your hands are always clean. And even if you touch your face accidentally, there is no chance of transmission of the virus through contaminated surfaces.
Hygiene tips while using edibles
Before you open your mouth to bite onto the gummies or brownies, make sure that your hands are clean. A safer and convenient option would be to avoid using bare hands. Rather use a spoon or a plate for munching on edibles. Also, always check for third party laboratory tests to ensure the quality of your edibles. Or just buy from a licensed dispensary to be safe.
If you make your own edibles, ensure that all your kitchen surfaces and utensils are sanitized and clean. And the rule of no sharing and no socializing applies here as well.
Hygiene tips for storing cannabis
If you use buds for consumption, it is important that they are stored in proper conditions. Use airtight glass jars, preferably opaque to store your buds. Keep the jar in a cool, dark and dry place. This will keep them fresh for longer. As for edibles, if they include dairy, eggs or other perishable products, do not forget to refrigerate them to avoid the growth of bacteria. You can also label them to remember their date of preparation and avoiding eating expired edibles.
Also, whether your edibles need refrigeration or not, keep them in airtight containers. This is to prevent cross-contamination and degradation due to air and moisture.
Hygiene tips for growing cannabis
Keep anything that can attract pests or bacteria away from the grow room. This includes pruned plant parts, fertilizers, compost etc. Clean the floors and all the tools. You can also spray a sanitizer solution over your plants. Just make sure that it is safe to use.
Wash your hands before touching the plants and remember to ask others to do the same before getting near the harvest. Also, make regular checks on grow lights and drainage system to maintain temperature and humidity levels. Otherwise, the chances of mold growth increase which can be hazardous to health.
The time now is such that you have to take all steps to prioritize your health over socializing or being polite. As we know, the novel coronavirus is quite contagious. And since the cure is still a long way ahead. It is important that you take all precautionary measures and avoid all sorts of exposure. While taking care of the hygiene of all other sectors of your life, make sure that cannabis is not left out. Your daily dose should not be the cause of transmission or contraction of the virus. So every time you decide on handling your stash or chewing on an edible. Make sure you are following these rules of hygiene to minimize the chances of catching the virus.