Turns out White Claws and jigsaw puzzles aren't our only go-tos to help pass the time during quarantine. Cannabis sales in Ontario are up 600% since the state of emergency started, and doubtless other provinces are also noticing such highs (pun very much intended).
Canadian women are indulging almost as much as men, with many of us reaching for a now-legal joint or gummy rather than a cocktail at the end of yet another day of being bored in the house, in the house bored. As one reader put it, “I would rather have a puff of my vape pen than a couple of glasses of wine every night.”
A word of warning if you’re smoking, rather than ingesting, cannabis. Because COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, smoking or vaping, whether it’s cigarettes or pot, can make a case of coronavirus more severe.
Here’s what eight Canadian women had to say about their current weed consumption during COVID-19.
“I smoke everyday — strains that are more THC-based — totalling at least one joint every two to three days. I get it from a friend. I'm smoking more due to more time on my hands more than being anxious, but it does help. Anything excessive is not a good thing. I hope to detox soon — hopefully.” — Sandra
“I smoke four to five times a week. Always at night to help me unwind after long hours of editing. (I'm a freelancer.) Usually after I’ve delivered my content and cooked dinner, I smoke a 0.5 gram joint. I prefer strains that have around 17 to 25% THC. I’ve definitely been using more since the outbreak. Being home always meant relaxation and fun. Now it’s synonymous with work, school, and chilling with a girlfriend while smoking a doobie. For me, smoking weed during this pandemic has helped cope with the stress of everything. It elevates my mood and also lets me fall asleep.” — Malavika
I’ve been smoking weed since I was 13. I’d usually do four to six hits of the bong a week. Now it’s like three times that.
“At the beginning of the quarantine, I’d have the occasional edible (specifically, a star-shaped chocolate made by Budhr Shop — shoutout to Mona, the best edible chocolatier in Toronto). For the next few weeks, I could feel my anxiety ramping up. I was laid off in the fall and am on a short-term consulting gig for now, so I am definitely worried about my job search. An edible or two before bed helped me to sleep. (But sadly, it often triggers a violent case of the munchies, driving me to eat everything in sight. EVERYTHING.) I've been trying to cut back — not because I'm worried about weed consumption, more so worried about weight gain." — Sarah
“I have a couple of beers on the weekend and a couple of joints throughout the week. I smoke with my husband. I’m a nurse, and at the beginning of the pandemic, I felt a bit anxious not knowing what to expect and how bad it was going to be. But I actually don't feel stressed anymore because I can't control anything other than just doing my part with hand hygiene and personal protective equipment. I don’t think my consumption has gone up because I still work Monday to Friday, so my routine is fairly similar.” — Hollee
“I’m a frequent smoker, but thought I should try edibles instead because of the whole COVID-19 will fuck up your lungs/life. But that was just a bad idea. Edibles are a very different high, one that makes you feel less control because it takes longer to hit and the high lasts way longer. I already have anxiety because of the lack of control in my life RN, so edibles are a hard pass for me. Back to the bong life for me, lungs be damned. I’m smoking more now, for sure. I’ve been smoking weed since I was 13. I’d usually do four to six hits of the bong a week. Now it’s like three times that. We also made our own edibles (brownies) and had them for dessert with my friends who lived downstairs (we were sheltering-in-place in the same house) and we didn’t do our weed math right. We were all so high, it took me a full 24 hours to come down.” — Julia
“I've basically been microdosing everyday by either smoking a 1:1 THC/CBD joint or taking an edible. (The dose on gummies are usually 2.5 mg.) The dosing is so low, you're not getting high but it's just enough to mellow you out. I have mostly been using to help calm my anxiety and try to help me focus.” — Amanda
“I mostly use vape pens — 48North’s Avitas vape pen, which is high in THC and gives me a good giggly high, and the Dosist pen Calm, which is higher in CBD, which I use for microdosing and enjoy when I do yoga or if I am feeling super-stressed. I have also experimented with edibles, but I find they are unpredictable and take too long to kick in. I have definitely been consuming more. I have a stressful job, three kids under six, and live in a townhouse in downtown Toronto. By the time everyone is in bed I am ready for a little relief. I think it is a combo of reasons: stress, boredom, going stir-crazy. A lot of people are turning to alcohol in these times, but I think cannabis is a better fit for me. I definitely sleep better than if I drink wine. I can microdose and feel completely in control and like myself, but a little more chill.” — Lexi
“Pre-COVID, I generally wouldn't smoke during the week, but since being in quarantine, I've been taking some liberties. Sometimes I'll smoke on a Wednesday but it's usually just on weekends. I love putting on an episode of The Real Housewives (any of them BUT the O.C. — those ladies have some real issues) on a Friday evening and having a little smoke. I'm a lightweight when it comes to smoking, so one joint can literally last me a month and a bit. I take one to two puffs and I'm high as a kite. I also started running and I find it more enjoyable when high. I'm not sure how healthy that is though. I never buy my own. I’m not worried that I’m overindulging. I know myself and prioritize other things before smoking. To me it's like dessert.” — Yazmin
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please see here for a list of resources by province in Canada.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the Public Health Agency of Canada website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.