Covid + Cannabis: How to Stay Hygienic

| July 29, 2020

In light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, health and safety guidelines remain a top priority for many Americans. We are constantly reminded to be washing our hands, wearing face masks, and socially distancing as much as possible. Quarantine may be over, but there are still safety guidelines to be followed. With this in mind, many cannabis users are concerned about how to stay healthy while smoking. Passing joints and sharing bongs are staples in the smoking community, but these social aspects of smoking are easy ways to spread germs. Fortunately, we have a few tips and strategies to help you stay hygienic in a COVID-cannabis world.

Cleaning Tips

You’ve probably heard the importance of wiping your countertops and scrubbing your doorknobs, but when it comes to smoking, cleaning your equipment is just as important. Grinders, pipes, and bongs that are used on a regular basis require frequent sanitation to stop the spread of germs. With the Covid-19 pandemic, cleaning is more important than ever.

We’ve gathered a list of cleaning guidelines for popular devices to keep yourself as safe as possible while smoking, and they’re easier than you might expect. At the end of the day, you’ll likely find that clean equipment gives you a better overall experience with stronger flavors and better smoke.


Your grinder is probably the device you’ll use most often because it precedes most of your smoke sessions. Since wearing gloves while handling flower isn’t optimal for breaking down the buds, a deep cleaning of your grinder every so often goes a long way in keeping yourself safe. Luckily, cleaning a plastic or metal grinder isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Empty any build up that is stuck in your grinder. If you stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes, it can help loosen up any tough spots.
  2. Dismantle the grinder and put all the components in a plastic bag.
  3. Fill the grinder with enough cleaning solution to cover all the parts. Let it soak for 15 minutes.For a metal grinder, use isopropyl alcohol.
  4. For a plastic grinder, use a mixture of soap and water.
  5. Take out the grinder and rinse under running water. Use an old toothbrush to scrub any remaining build-up.
  6. Let the pieces dry completely before re-assembling and you’re all set with a freshly cleaned grinder!

Pipes and Bongs

If you thought cleaning a grinder was simple, cleaning a bong is even easier. Just empty it, fill it with a mixture of 99% isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt. The alcohol concentration is strong enough to kill ordinary germs along with coronaviruses. Use an old toothbrush to scrub any build-up. Then cover the top and give it a good shake before you rinse it out and let it dry. Try to clean bongs and pipes more often than you normally would while the pandemic continues.


Upgraded portable ovens and vaporizers are usually more sanitary ways to smoke. They don’t involve sharing a joint or bong and can be easily wiped down between hits. However, they can start to smell after a few uses so most owners clean them often. Cleaning practices will depend on the device, of course, so make sure to check the instructions first.

Best Practices for a Pandemic

Smoking has always been an inherently social act with a close-knit community, but this pandemic has forced smokers to rethink their hobby with higher regard for individual health and safety. An individual battery and cartridges are a safer bet if you have the means to afford it. Edibles are a good option because you’re not sharing equipment or inhaling smoke into your lungs.

At the very least, buy from only sources you trust and make sure the bud is high-quality and well-maintained. Roll your own joints and use your own bongs and pipes while coronavirus remains an ongoing threat. If you must share, use a bong condom or an individual mouthpiece to provide some level of precaution.

If you develop Coronavirus-like symptoms, stop smoking immediately. Covid-19 is a respiratory illness so healthy lungs can go a long way in fighting off the disease. Cannabis does have medicinal properties, but unfortunately, it cannot be used to treat Coronavirus. If you don’t have preexisting conditions, smoking doesn’t need to be avoided altogether, but a little extra precaution could go a long way in staying safe.