According to a study, there has been a positive correlation between the number of COVID-19 cases and demand for medical cannabis.

More than half of the patients who said they used cannabis did it to “feel happy.”

The findings are a part of a a national study conducted by Veriheal, the healthcare enterprise behind the nation’s largest medical marijuana application platform.

The study was done in partnership with graduate research scholars from the London School of Economics, the University of Southern California, and University of Maryland; as well as the CREA (Cultivating Research Education Advocacy) Group.

The study discovered that 55% of medical cannabis patients primarily use to feel ‘happy’ and patient desire to feel ‘happy’ via medical cannabis use grew 46% in the past year.

Conducted between January 2020 and March 2021, the study investigated medical cannabis interest and adoption by desired effect across region, sex and age group, in relation to COVID-19 cases in America as reported by the official COVID-19 CDC data tracker.

Patient data was obtained from surveys on the Veriheal telemedicine platform. The platform connects prospective cannabis patients to state-certified cannabis doctors to go through the medical marijuana application process.

The study also found that 29% used marijuana to feel ‘relief’; 7% to feel ‘relaxed’; 5% to feel ‘sleepy.’

Happiness is the primary reason for medical cannabis use among 39% of Boomers; 45% of Gen X; 28% of Millenials and 29% of Gen Z.

“When we began investigating the relationship between medical cannabis use and COVID-19, our original hypothesis was that cannabis demand would increase with COVID-19 cases as people sought out physiological relief and ways to manage stress,” said Maha Haq, CEO of CREA and graduate student at University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy.

“We were stunned to find the results actually nullify that hypothesis. Instead, we found that people are seeking psychological relief in response to exogenous shocks including COVID-19 and beyond. Periods of social unrest, such as the Black Lives Matter protests and 2020 elections, can be seen as spikes in medical cannabis interest within our datasets.”

“Medical cannabis has traditionally been viewed as an alternative treatment for relieving physical pain and chronic ailments,” said Ms. Haq. “That most people are actually looking to the plant to ease psychological stressors, often related to external social upheaval, is an incredibly important discovery that helps medical professionals better understand evolving consumer relationships with cannabis, and from there, improve the quality of their treatment and related mental healthcare programs.”

 


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