It’s been common knowledge for decades that smoking, of any kind, is bad for your health. Be that as it may, millions of Americans smoke all sorts of substances, including nicotine, hash, heroin, and marijuana. Marijuana use stands out from the crowd because of its widespread medicinal benefit but smoking it can still harm your health. This is especially true in 2020 with the advent of Covid-19.
With Covid-19 attacking the lungs, switching from smoking marijuana to edibles may well be a smart move to make. The body processes edibles differently than through smoking so you can avoid the health risks associated with smoking. Edibles also offer other health benefits that smoking marijuana can’t deliver.
The Covid-19 Effect
Covid-19 belongs to the coronavirus family, which includes a large number of different viruses that target the body’s respiratory system. While not all coronaviruses act on the body in the same way, many are known to cause similar symptoms, such as coughing and a runny nose. Covid-19 does this and so much more. Under these conditions, marijuana effects only make a bad situation worse when you smoke it.
Covid-19 attacks the lungs by attaching to the cells that line the airways and destroying them. The body’s immunity response kicks in by sending white cells and other chemicals to fight the infection. This response results in excess fluid build-up in the airways, which can make it hard to breathe. In the most severe cases, hospital patients must be put on ventilators to keep them breathing, which doesn’t always work. In light of today’s new Covid-19 risks, lung health is more important than ever.
The Effects of Smoking on Your Lungs
With Covid-19 in the air, the dangers of smoking increase considerably. While quitting marijuana may be out of the question for many, knowing the effects of smoking it can help you make an informed decision. One of the dangers of smoking has to do the toxins and carcinogens that are released through combustion. And as clean as marijuana may seem compared to nicotine, marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxins and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.
The presence of smoke in the lungs also damages a special group of cells known as pneumocytes. Pneumocyte cells are the ones that line the airways so they play a vital role in supporting the structural integrity of the lungs. This means smoking marijuana on a regular basis can cause significant damage to pneumocyte cells as well as to the health of your lung tissues. Marijuana smokers, in particular, tend to inhale deeply and hold their breath longer than cigarette smokers, which only increases exposure to these harmful materials.
Switching From Smoking Marijuana to Edibles
Marijuana has many health benefits but the way you ingest it ultimately determines how healthy it can be. Considering the host of problems marijuana smoke causes, choosing to “eat” instead of smoke seems reasonable, if not wise. Edibles are processed through your digestive tract, which bypasses the lungs altogether. And there’s no smoke involved.
Marijuana edibles come in many different forms. Here are just a few store-bought edibles to choose from:
- Candy bars
And with a few good recipes, you can also incorporate marijuana into dishes you cook at home.
Health Benefits of Marijuana Edibles
Marijuana comes from green, leafy plants, which imbues them with a wealth of health benefits. Much like the leafy, green vegetables you eat, marijuana is a prime source of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and even fiber. Here are a few nutrients found in marijuana leaves:
- Iron – helps maintain healthy levels of oxygen in your blood
- Calcium – keeps your bones strong
- Vitamin K – enables blood clotting
- Folate – helps with DNA repair and rebuilding
- High levels of fiber – keeps your digestive tract healthy
Marijuana edibles also contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect your immune system from “free radicals,” which are destructive molecules that eat away at the body’s cells and tissues. In effect, marijuana use can actually help your body defend itself against Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses when you switch from smoking to edibles.
Things to Keep in Mind
Smoking marijuana produces a faster and more intense “high” than edibles, which can become addictive if the “high” experience is what you expect. This can make switching to edibles seem less appealing, to say the least. It helps to keep in mind that a key symptom of marijuana addiction is being willing to risk almost anything for the “high.” Covid-19 kills. Deciding to switch from smoking to edibles should be a no-brainer considering what’s at stake.
1 – International Journal of Biological Sciences, “COVID-19: What Has Been Learned and to Be Learned About the Novel Coronavirus Disease”
2 – California Environmental Protection Agency, “Evidence on the Carcinogenicity of Marijuana Smoke”
3 – American Lung Association, “Marijuana and Lung Health
4 – U. S. Agricultural Research Service, “Dark Green Leafy Vegetables”
5 – Sunshine Behavioral Health, “Marijuana Addiction Recovery”