Is cannabis a healthy way to deal with the effects of COVID-19?

Published Jun 8, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
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As we learn more about the basics of our biology, living a healthy lifestyle is something that more people want, and now that we’re dealing with a pandemic, there are few who would disagree with the thought, but one person's idea of healthy may be very different from another. A healthy lifestyle only comes when you keep both the body and mind a top priority, and now that so many people are sitting at home, which means that they’re smoking way more cannabis than usual, some are wondering if it could be harmful rather than helpful for those who are using it while waiting for the world to go back to normal.

Can cannabis help to alleviate stress?

If you asked the millions of people around the world who use cannabinoids for this reason alone, then the easy answer is yes. Cannabis can most definitely help to alleviate the stress of various severities, but sometimes the soothing appeal isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be. For those who are seeking relief from panic or feeling overwhelmed by being stuck with minimal human contact and very little to do, cannabis can work, but it can also have some potential adverse effects that everyone should know about.

Potential adverse effects

Smoking the occasional joint here or there can be beneficial, but like most things, it tends to serve us best when it’s used in moderation. Though some cannabis consumers manage through each day thanks to a reliable and heavy dose of cannabinoids as frequently as possible, for many, this sort of overuse can lead to a spiraling of adverse effects that can be challenging to come back from.

Using cannabis too often or in doses that are too high can lead to a lack of motivation, which isn’t really helping when you have nowhere to go, but self-care is so incredibly important to your overall health, and once a person starts slacking in this department, it can be a slippery slope that leaves you housebound and depressed among other things.

Now that there is so much fear surrounding current events, it is not uncommon for people of all kinds to report feelings of panic that may present themselves as symptoms like difficulty breathing, or a panic attack. Though cannabis is typically known for its therapeutic abilities that can soothe and calm the mind, in larger amounts, it can also have the opposite effect, and that can make it hard to make it through each day, especially at a time like this.

Cannabis use disorder

This medical diagnosis is one that is rarely provided by a medical practitioner, as so many cannabis users suffer alone and in silence, for fear of judgment, and it means that the use of the plant has adversely impacted a person’s life in a way that is difficult to manage without assistance. It’s a rather vague description, as the debate continues over whether or not cannabinoids are addictive, but it is exactly what can happen if you misuse a substance like cannabis in excess, especially when it’s done during a hypersensitive and high-stress time of life like we’re experiencing now due to COVID-19.

In conclusion

The important thing to remember if you want to live a healthy lifestyle and use cannabis to alleviate stress during hard times like these is to do so in moderation and with caution. That way, you can gain all of the benefits and toke your way through the tough times without going to the adverse effects that can impact you for months or longer because it’s a risk that’s simply not worth taking when we have so much else to worry about.

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