What if everyone in the world smoked weed?
Smoking weed in the Corona crisis: Why it makes sense to stop using cannabis now
The novel coronavirus changes a lot. No more handshake. No hugs. Social distance is the order of the day. And stay at home. Smoking weed may be particularly appealing to some people in this situation. But the current challenges can also be used as an opportunity to question beloved habits.
Image: portishead1 / istockphoto.com
#We stay at home is the order of the day. With the action of the Federal Ministry of Health we are all asked to stay within our own four walls and to keep a distance from one another. It is about protecting yourself and, above all, other people who have had a bad health.
Smoking weed could be a welcome pastime for some people in this situation. “Of course, in the current situation, it would be nice to smoke weed all day. I could just lie around and watch Netflix without any consequences. That's damn seductive. When you smoke weed, doing nothing is incredibly easy, ”Mia wrote in a column in the magazine now written.
Smoke puts a strain on the lungs
But right now, smoking weed is probably not a good idea. So far, we are not aware of any study that has examined the possible influence of smoking weed on an infection with the novel coronavirus, but there are good reasons to assume that smoke of any kind is not beneficial for lung health.
Smokers are among the risk groups who are relatively often affected by a severe course of the disease. Michael Pfeifer, President of the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine, warns that smoking increases the risk of developing COVID-19. COVID-19 is the name of the disease that the novel coronavirus triggers. The term is an abbreviation from English: Corona Virus D.isease 2019.
Smokers are particularly at risk because their immune systems no longer react appropriately. Among other things, inhaled smoke weakens the self-healing powers of the airways. Normally, a special mucous membrane called the ciliated epithelium is responsible for the disposal of inhaled foreign matter from the airways. Fine cilia in the mucous membrane move upwards in waves towards the throat. As a result, small particles such as dust particles or pathogens are transported out of the airways piece by piece until they can be swallowed into the stomach. Smoke or the vapor from e-cigarettes weakens the mobility of the cilia. The removal of viruses and bacteria is disturbed. This increases the risk of lung disease.
Research has not yet fully clarified whether cannabis use can trigger a lung disease independently of tobacco smoking. This is supported by the fact that a joint contains three to five times more tar than a cigarette. According to one study, smoking weed is also linked to an increased likelihood of developing asthma, chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia. People who smoke cannabis regularly must therefore assume that they have an increased risk of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.
Use the corona crisis as an opportunity
The corona crisis is causing some cannabis users another completely different worry: How do I get supplies? The exit is restricted. Border controls are tightened. Columnist Mia has the impression that "since the exit restrictions began, there has been more and more inquiries about who has left weed." Just the thought that there could be delivery bottlenecks at my dealer. "
At the same time, however, the thought comes to her: “Maybe the corona crisis is my chance to smoke weed less?” Therefore, she takes the current situation as a “challenge” to get along without weed if possible. After all, other people would be fine in the same situation without smoking weed.
Reflection on one's own consumption
Deliberately refraining from smoking weed in the Corona crisis can be a demanding challenge. Anyone who, like Mia, already experiences glimpses of panic at the thought that the weed might run out, is well advised to question their own consumer behavior anyway. Is smoking weed still good for me? Is my life going as I imagine it to be?
If smoking weed is already at the expense of other important things and dominates large areas of everyday life, then now could be the time to steer your own life in new directions. The currently forced withdrawal and the associated free time offer the opportunity to reflect on consumption in peace. On the other hand, there is a great risk of getting stoned and still staying in your own comfort zone, especially with stoners.
Approach consumption abstinence strategically
The renouncement of a cherished occupation should therefore be approached strategically. If you now have a lot of free time, it is best to plan a fixed daily routine and stick to it. Solid structures help against chaos and tame the weaker self, who likes to take the path of least resistance. A daily schedule includes, for example, fixed times for eating, sleeping, working or studying. If smoking weed used to take a long time, it should now be filled with alternative activities.
Streaming services and other media entertainment may seem seductive. However, a clearly defined time frame should also be set out for media consumption. In this situation, it is very important to maintain social relationships despite or because of the enforced contact restrictions, for example over the phone or video telephony. And don't forget: Exercise helps to distract yourself and relieve withdrawal symptoms. As long as exit restrictions apply, there are certainly restrictions on the choice of physical activity. But there are plenty of opportunities to move around within your own four walls. Videos on the Internet provide a multitude of suggestions.
Get support in giving up cannabis use
Presumably, not smoking weed will also be associated with doubts and regression. We have therefore produced a short video with tips on the question "How do I stop smoking weed?" An important tip is: get support. That can be a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Tell me what you plan to do. Alternatively or additionally you can use the help of Quit the Shit. This is a counseling program specifically for cannabis users. Quit the Shit is free, participation is anonymous.
- infektionsschutz.de> FAQ
- now (March 24th, 2020) "Maybe the Corona crisis is my chance to smoke less?"
- Lung doctors online (March 18, 2020) "Smoking increases the risk of corona disease"
- National Institute on Drug Abuse "What are marijuana’s effects on lung health?"
- Qui, F., Liang, C.-L., Liu, H., Zeng, Y.-Q., Hou, S., Huang, S., Lai, X. & Dai, Z. (2017). Impacts of cigarette smoking on immune responsivness: Up and down or upside down? Oncotarget, 8 (1), 268-284.
- Vardavas, C. & Nikitara, K. (2020). COVID-19 and smoking: A systematic review of the evidence. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 18, 20.
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