Tips and tricks for self-medicating with cannabis during COVID-19

Published Apr 26, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / chonticha wat

Most seasoned cannabis consumers have a pretty good idea of what it takes to get them through the day, but now that so many of us are stuck at home, those old habits are likely to change. This might seem like an excellent time to medicate, after all, there is so much stress and anxiety going around, that it can be challenging to keep a cool head, but if you let this opportunity to medicate freely get out of hand, you might just find that it’s effects aren’t quite what you were hoping for.

Since we’re all stuck indoors, with very little to keep ourselves occupied, it’s easy to fall into the trap of overconsumption or wrong choices which can backfire, and that’s why we’ve come up with this helpful list of tips and tricks that can help to ensure that you have the best possible experience, while you continue to medicate under lockdown.

1. Always stock up using a trusted supplier

You’ve probably heard this countless times, but during a pandemic, it holds true now more than ever. The importance of a reliable and trustworthy cannabis supplier is invaluable, as they will work to ensure that all necessary precautions against unnecessary germ spread are taken and that the products you receive won’t be filled with contaminants or irritants that could make you sick.

Since doctor's offices and even emergency rooms have resources that are spreading dangerously thin, this is not a good time to take the risk that could leave you feeling terrible, and supporting a local legal vendor from the cannabis industry might be just enough to keep them alive long after this all blows over. Both of these things are important to consider when you medicate at home during COVID-19.

2. Moderation is key

A lot of consumers who like to medicate, do so from the moment they walk in the door at home, until the final hour that they end up in bed, which is normally a relatively short period overall, but now, most of us aren’t leaving our homes for work or frivolous outings, which leaves us at home for the entire day with our stashes.

Smoking too much cannabis can leave you heavily sedated, and have you unable to use this time to your advantage by learning new things, or catching up on old projects that you’ve been putting off, so it’s a good idea to keep in mind that moderation is important, especially when you’ve got the entire day to indulge.

3. Choose the right strains

Some people believe that cannabis is the same, no matter which strain you choose, but an extended time at home might quickly change the minds of those who are still convinced of this long-held myth. Once you're relaxing at home day after day and smoking way more than you normally would, it won’t take long for you to realize how important the effects of a cannabis product can be.

The good news is that you can be proactive by selecting high energy strains that do things like improving focus, and motivation. Both of which can help you to get things done and take on new challenges while you’re stuck indoors and those are two things that everybody can do to pass the time and to make this whole situation feel more manageable.

4. Gain experience through safe experimentation with new cannabis products

We will always stress the importance of using marijuana plant products in moderation, as it is important for your overall health and well-being to do so. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity by trying something that’s just a little bit different than those you are already used to.

So, splurge on that sweet looking bag of THC gummies, or go a step further and find the perfect dose for you through more perfectly measured concentrated options like THC oil, or capsules. You may never be blessed with this much free time again to dedicate to such an experiment, so you might as well use it to discover some of the incredible cannabis goods that you might not have otherwise dared to try.

5. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet

You probably thought that all of our advice was going to be about how to medicate, but the truth is that everything you do in a day significantly impacts the way that any marijuana plant product might make you feel. You could have a super-duper energizing strain, but without a proper diet to go along with it, you might still feel groggy and sedated, which isn’t overly enjoyable when we’re already fighting off the urge to sleep to pass the days.

The best way to keep this up, especially now that we have so few time-saving options like take-out, is to design a flexible meal plan that includes at least one large meal each day and two healthy snacks. Now that you’re not burning the same number of calories, you might not feel as hungry as usual, but if you stick to these rules, you will feel great while you medicate under lockdown.

6. Stay hydrated

If you’ve ever smoked weed, then you’re likely quite familiar with the term cottonmouth, which refers to that super sticky, dry feeling that makes it difficult to talk or swallow after a few hits. This is one reason why you’d want to be mindful of your water intake, but the other is to maintain your energy levels. Now that you’re at home, it’s going to be a whole lot more convenient to toss on a pot of coffee or make a cup of tea, which is likely to reduce the amount of water that you reach for.

Since we want to stay healthy and feel as good as possible during this uncertain time, it’s a good idea to keep track of how much you drink, be it through a sticker chart, a measured amount of water bottles set aside, or just a mental tally. Eight glasses of water a day is what is recommended by Health Canada for the average adult, and even if you can come close to that, you’ll feel a whole lot better than you would if you let yourself get dehydrated.

7. No sharing

COVID-19 is spreading, and fast because it travels quite easily from one person to the next. Some studies have even suggested that the current 6-feet social distancing guidelines might not be enough to stop you from catching the virus from someone else, because the small droplets that it transfers through can linger for extended periods in the air and on surfaces. So, it is important to remember that you should not be sharing your joints or other smoking devices with friends.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t share the love, so to speak, but you do have to be careful about how you do it. Porch pickups or online ordered parcels are the most recommended options as they reduce human to human contact significantly so that you can stay safe inside at home, while still helping your friends out when they need it the most.

8. Keep your mind stimulated

Staying at home, when your friends and loved ones are so far out of reach, is hard, but it’s a necessary sacrifice given the extraordinary circumstances. Unfortunately, weeks on end without stimulation that you might otherwise get from your job, shopping, and other day to day activities can be really hard on our mental health. It’s completely natural to feel trapped, bored, and even down in the dumps, but these feelings aren’t going to do you any good if you dwell on them.

Even if you’ve invested in the most invigorating and uplifting strains, you’ll still need something to do to keep your mind and hands busy. So, get out that half-finished book you’ve been meaning to finish, try your hand at a puzzle of skill, start growing cannabis, or find another fun idea to lift your spirits. As long as you keep busy, you’ll love the sensations even more once you take the time out to medicate.

9. Don’t stop moving for too long

It might be tempting to keep your butt glued to the couch, especially now that there really isn’t anywhere to go or do, it is important for the health of both body and mind, to maintain some semblance of schedule that includes a bit of physical activity. Luckily, marijuana plant products can help with that, so choose an energizing strain, light it up, and get to it.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to forever be up and active and struggle through dozens of push-ups or jumping jacks if that’s not your thing, as there are probably quite a few things that you can do at home that are just as physically demanding and feel a whole lot more rewarding. Things like dusting, organizing, spring cleaning, or gardening, are all perfect for this, and they’ll help to ensure that you don’t overindulge, as you get things done.

10. Have fun with it

The biggest thing to remember as you sit home during this stressful time and self-medicate is to keep on having fun. So if you can afford it, order from some amazing weed delivery service, cook up some of the best meals of your life, check things off your to-do list, and keep busy, healthy, and safe, while we get through this. It might sound hard at first, but with the right attitude and a little bit of green, anything is possible.

A stoners guide to social distancing

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