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Cannabis and Covid-19

The coronavirus Covid-19 has spread to at least 60 countries around the world. Some 3,000 people have sadly died and yet this spread is nothing compared to the fake news that is multiplying faster than the authorities can control. Who would have thought that cannabis and Covid-19 could in any way be linked? However in an Instagram post last month, a ridiculous claim was made that marijuana kills the coronavirus. We cannot stress enough that THIS IS FALSE. 

Don’t Spread Fake News

cannabis and Covid-19
DO NOT BELIEVE NONSENSE LIKE THIS

It is important at this time that we separate the facts from the fake and concentrate on staying healthy and looking out for each other. The marijuana community has a responsibility here. Not only is this highly irresponsible it could land you in serious trouble. In Thailand this week,  two women were arrested for doing just this.  One in Bangkok and another in Rayong were arrested on March 3rd for spreading fake news online about the coronavirus outbreak.

cannabis and Covid-19
Woman arrested in Thailand. Photo by PornProm Satrabhaya

In Thailand, this can carry a sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of THB100,000 ($3150) A photo immediately appeared on News sites to deter others. However, it featured the arrested woman and the police all wearing masks which also do not stop the spread of the disease.

Are Cannabis and Covid-19 Linked?

The short answer is no. However, it is important that you avoid sharing bongs and passing spliffs around at this time. We know that the virus is contracted by droplets in saliva being ingested by another person. It is also known that the best way to avoid the disease is by constant and thorough hand washing. So it really should go without saying that passing a bong or a joint round among friends is really not a great idea. 

Puff and Pass? Not for Now

We all know that sharing weed is a huge part of the cannabis culture and let’s be honest, a very enjoyable way of enjoying weed and friends at the same time. However, while this awful disease is spreading it is important that we all to our bit, to try and halt its progress. Stick to your own supply,  wash your hands thoroughly and how about an elbow bump for now, instead of a handshake. 

What is Meant by “Wash your hands thoroughly”?

This is absolutely the best thing that we should all be doing. Quite honestly you cannot wash your hands too frequently at the moment. When you wake up, before meals or drinks in a bar, after visiting the bathroom, after traveling on public transport, after visiting the mall., wash, wash, wash. And wash them thoroughly. Soap and water are all you need and you should wash every inch of your hands and wrist for at least 20 seconds on each occasion. 

Wash your hands thoroughly, still the best defense that we have.

Keep Cannabis and Covid-19 Apart

The first symptom of the disease appears to be a dry cough. If you develop a cough get it checked out and stop smoking until you do. The cough could simply be the result of a hot hit and nothing more. Also, it may of course just be the flu, but in this case, smoking is not what you should be doing.

Will I Still Get My Weed?

As shelves in supermarkets are emptying due to panic buying, many are asking if the coronavirus will affect weed supplies. It shouldn’t really. In America for example, weed can only be sold in the state in which it is grown. However, supplies of equipment may be a problem. Vapes and component parts are more often than not imported from China. The US imports some 30 million vape pens and cartridges from China every month. Shipments stopped in mid-January, during the annual Chinese New Year. They simply haven’t fully resumed due to the coronavirus.

Bloomberg is reporting supply-chain disruptions due to the coronavirus. It seems that both the USA and Canada are experiencing problems already.

Cannabis Events

As many sporting events worldwide are canceling our postponing meetings it is hard not to imagine cannabis events doing the same. There is not a lot of information at the moment but no doubt news will keep coming in as the disease progresses through 2020. It does seem inevitable that supplies of equipment for cannabis and Covid-19 will cause issues.

Summary

The best advice is to just keep calm and be sensible. Don’t believe any of the nonsense and panic on social media. The chances of you being affected are still relatively slim at this point. Forget masks, leave them for medical experts who need them to protect their patients. Avoid intimate social interactions,  don’t share your bongs and don’t forget . . . WASH, WASH, WASH!

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Health

California to Get Certified Organic Cannabis

organic cannabis

As things stand at the moment Californians cannot assuredly buy certified organic cannabis, but that is soon to change in the Golden State. Many people have expressed concerns regarding the use of pesticides and fertilizers. However, California’s regulators have just announced a new program guaranteeing that a percentage of marijuana is grown with only natural, non-toxic ingredients.

Lawmakers Avoid Conflict with Federal Law over Organic Cannabis

As things stand at the moment only Federal law can certify Organic produce. So California’s regulators are putting a “Comparable to Organic” label on the weed that reaches certain specifications. There will be certainly added costs though,  due to lab testing the marijuana to ensure that it does achieve the goals set out.

Check out the full story on the Merry Jane Website

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Health

San Fransisco Makes Cannabis Deliveries to Homeless Covid-19 victims

cannabis deliveries in San Fransisco

A big shout out to the state of San Fransisco for making cannabis deliveries to where they are most needed. They are taking care of some of their most vulnerable citizens during the pandemic. Homeless citizens who are tested positive are provided with a hotel room and supplies of marijuana and alcohol.

Cannabis Deliveries Cause Social Media Storm

Needless to say, this compassionate approach has met with a storm of protest on social media. However, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) is standing firm. Dr. Grant Colfax from SFDPH said, “With regard to supporting people who are at risk, or who need to be in quarantine or isolation because they’re COVID positive, our focus needs to be on supporting them. Meeting them where they are so that they can be cared for in the most appropriate way. In the way that’s good for them and for our community.”

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Health

Celiac Disease and Medical Cannabis Treatment

celiac disease

Causes and Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease is a relatively common disease that affects the digestive systems in about 1% of the World’s population. 1%, of course, means that approximately 70 million people suffer from this often serious illness. It is also referred to as celiac sprue. The symptoms occur when a sufferer consumes gluten. It should however not be confused with simple gluten intolerance. Gluten is a protein that is present in barley, wheat, rye, and other cereals. If a Celiac disease sufferer eats gluten it causes their immune system to attack the small intestine lining. 

The lining of the small intestine, in turn, becomes inflamed and damages the tiny villi, finger-like projections about 0.5–1.6 mm in length, which extend into the tubular structures. When these become inflamed or even damaged they can cause severe abdominal pain, bloating, gas, Diarrhoea or constipation, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. This is a serious illness. 

Villi Inflamed by Celiac Disease

Many people with celiac disease complain of severe fatigue, depression and headaches, and a whole range of other issues and complications. If it develops in childhood it can lead to growth development problems delayed puberty and bone and tooth damage. It is a difficult disease to diagnose as some patients remain asymptomatic. 

It is actually an immune system disorder but is unique in that it only occurs after consuming gluten. This, of course, means that it can be mainly avoided by simply cutting gluten out of one’s diet. I say simply, but it is far from simple. Many everyday products contain gluten and in some countries, it is not listed among ingredients. Cosmetics, toothpaste, and dietary supplements are common products containing gluten. 

Medical Cannabis Treatment for Celiac Disease

It can be incredibly difficult for people to simply cut gluten completely out of their diet. For this reason, doctors and scientists have been looking for alternatives. In turn, many sufferers have turned to medical marijuana and report positively on the effects. 

In March this year, the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in America issued the findings of a report into the use of medical marijuana to treat and alleviate the symptoms of celiac disease. The report use data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Survey between the years of 2009 and 2014.

One of the most interesting this that the study showed was that a staggeringly high number, 66% of Celiac sufferers who exhibited no symptoms were regular cannabis users. Yet among Celiac Disease sufferers who had exhibited symptoms and therefore had been diagnosed the number was only 6%.

The Endocannabinoid System 

The endocannabinoid system is more commonly referred to simply as the ECS. Wikipedia describes the ESC as “a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the vertebrate central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system.”

The ECS comprised of chemicals called endocannabinoids and cell receptors, known as CB1 and CB2. When these bind, they trigger reactions, which in turn, help keep the body in balance. The ECS is to be found in most tissues within the human body. They are found in very high concentrations within the intestine. They control inflammation and it is this area that is exciting scientists. 

Plus One is an inclusive journal community working together to advance science for the benefit of society, now and in the future. Founded with the aim of accelerating the pace of scientific advancement and demonstrating its value, we believe all rigorous science needs to be published and discoverable, widely disseminated, and freely accessible to all.

Their study in 2013 showed up some very interesting facts, regarding the relationship between Celiac disease and levels of CB1 and CB2. It was shown that patients above-average levels of CB1 and CB2 in their intestines when compared to patients who had been adhering to strictly gluten-free diets. This is potentially exciting news regarding the use of cannabis as a treatment.

Summary

There is much research still to be done and hopefully, President Trump’s blocking of much medical research will not hinder the work that needs to be done. Celiac disease is life-altering for millions of people and they deserve to be given a chance of any treatment that enables them to live full and active lives. 

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