The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people sad, scared and anxious. For those who have been looking for a way to deal with the stresses of life during this time, cannabis has brought relief, relaxation, and happiness.
A new study found that 55 percent of medical cannabis users primarily want to be happy, while 29 percent want relief primarily. Happiness is the number one reason for using medical cannabis among 39 percent of boomers, 45 percent of Gen X, 28 percent of Millennials, and 29 percent of Gen Z. This has influenced the demand for medical cannabis.
This new national study investigates whether the stressors of COVID-19 have driven more Americans to use medicinal cannabis for mental health management. The study analyzed the correlation between national medical cannabis needs and increases in COVID-19 cases. The results were actually pretty impressive.
The study found that as the number of COVID-19 cases increased, so did medical cannabis use. While the most common reason for obtaining a medical cannabis card was chronic pain, most medical cannabis patients who applied for their cards in the past year did so for psychological reasons.
Veriheal, The healthcare company, which operates the largest medical marijuana application platform in the United States, has teamed up with scientists from the London School of Economics, the University of Southern California and the University of Maryland to analyze the data. The CREA (Cultivating Research Education and Advocacy) group, a business development and research company focused on psychoactive substances, also contributed to the research.
After discovering this finding, the researchers presented it to the American Chemical Society for further analysis. This congressional chartered nonprofit leads research for the global chemical company.
The study was conducted from January 2020 to March 2021 to learn more about the interest and acceptance of medical cannabis through desired effects, taking into account the region, gender, and age in relation to COVID-19 cases in the United States. The cases were over pursued the official COVID-19 CDC data trackerand patient data came from surveys conducted by the Veriheal telemedicine platform.
“When we started investigating the relationship between medical cannabis use and COVID-19, our original hypothesis was that demand for cannabis with COVID-19 cases would increase as people seek physiological relief and ways to deal with stress “said Maha Haq, CEO of CREA and a graduate student from the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy. “We were stunned that the results actually nullify this hypothesis. Instead, we found that people seek psychological relief in response to exogenous shocks, including COVID-19 and beyond. Periods of social unrest such as the Black Lives Matter protests and the 2020 elections can be seen in our datasets as spikes in interest in medical cannabis. “
Registrations for medical cannabis consultations showed that interest had increased, as had medical cannabis appointments where patients were approved for cannabis. Both aspects of the survey grew as the COVID-19 case increased in spring 2020 and spring 2021, as well as the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020 and the presidential primaries in late summer. The same happened after the attempted coup in the US Capitol in January 2021.
“Medical cannabis has traditionally been viewed as an alternative treatment for relieving physical pain and chronic ailments,” said Ms. Haq. “That most people actually look to the plant for the relief of mental stressors, often related to external social upheaval, is an incredibly important discovery that is helping medical professionals better understand, and from there, evolving consumer relationships with cannabis to improve the quality of their treatment related psychiatric programs. “