Categories: CannabisHealth

Disinfection of Cannabis Packaging Maybe Necessary to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rules have been enforced on cannabis businesses, where they are offering delivery and curbside pickup to keep their customers safe. However, questions arise regarding the safety of the handling of the package and if cannabis consumers should opt for the disinfection of the plastic packaging and bud jars.

The answer is yes, and here’s why.

Any sick staff member at cannabis stores and dispensaries is ordered to stay at home in quarantine, for safety purposes. However, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is asymptomatic and employees may not show any signs or symptoms but may still be the carrier of the virus. Moreover, the employee may feel fine but might be spreading the virus by their breath and hands into the surrounding environment.

Although disposable gloves are worn by most dispensary staff members, it is not the same case with masks. Hence, the transfer of droplets of the virus by a staff member, onto their own gloved hands, seems very possible. Consequently, it may further be transferred onto a tin of THC mints or anything else that they may be putting in your delivery bag.

How many days does the virus last on a surface?

According to a study published last month, by The New England Journal of Medicine, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was tested on several different surfaces. While the virus seemed to linger on cardboard and metal for up to 24 hours, it lasted on plastic for one to two days, according to researchers. Hence although possible, it could be very unlikely to contact COVID-19 particles on any sort of packaging.

However, wiping the packaging with a strong disinfectant, or letting the package sit for a day or two in your car or closet, could potentially eliminate any possible chances of transfer as well as alleviate your anxiety. A safe way would be to clean every packaging with a disinfectant wipe as soon as you pull out of the pickup line (if picked up curbside) or as soon as you close the door (if ordered online).

Which cleaning products are strong enough?

A list of 357 disinfectants is being maintained by the EPA, which is approved for use against COVID-19. Using common household spray products can prove to be sufficient such as –

  • Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • Clorox 4-in-1 Disinfecting Spray
  • Clorox Scentiva Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • Formula 409 Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Disinfecting Spray

Or packaged wipes such as –

  • Wet Ones Antibacterial Face and Hand Wipes
  • Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

Home remedies

Bleach solution – Mixing 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water will provide you with a homemade disinfecting solution. However, a few authorities have advised using a stronger solution – up to 1/3 cup bleach per quart of water. However, do not use undiluted bleach directly. Even a cautionary warning is given by the Clorox company that it should not be applied to anything with full strength.

Isopropyl alcohol – Another potent COVID-19 killer is rubbing alcohol. However, unlike bleach, it is required to be highly concentrated. Only a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol (or higher) is reported to kill the coronavirus. Additionally, Vodka is not rubbing alcohol and is not strong enough to be used as a disinfectant either.

Hydrogen peroxide – Similar to rubbing alcohol, it is required to be used as-is and should not undergo dilution.

Additionally, mixing of different kinds of disinfectants or cleaning solutions is not recommended, and is instead warned against, due to the emission of potentially toxic gases. Mixing bleach with ammonia will release toxic gases called chloramines, which could cause coughing, nausea, chest pain, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs.

Jane Clarke

Masters in Biotechnology, the author loves to write about health and fitness in her spare time.

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