People are smoking more marijuana than usual under the coronavirus pandemic, often to combat anxiety, stress, and sometimes boredom.
When the imminent reality of life under the coronavirus set in, many consumers rushed to buy more marijuana than they normally would. According to a new survey, they’re smoking more of it, too.
Goldenseed, a California cannabis company, polled more than 1,200 Americans between the ages of 21 and 65 through a third-party surveyor. About 40% of marijuana users admitted to consuming more cannabis during the pandemic, while 35% worried whether they’d run out of goods. The survey offers a glimpse into the ongoing behavioral changes in marijuana use caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Previous data provided by Headset Analytics demonstrated intensive stockpiling trends in legal markets in the middle of March. Some states saw almost double their usual sales, approaching levels typically reserved for 4/20. That coronavirus bump has cooled as of late, but 22% of marijuana users continue to stockpile because of the pandemic, according to Goldenseed’s survey.
You can attribute multiple reasons to the increase in cannabis use, though stress and anxiety relief rank highest for users. A staggering 73.7% credited relieving anxious and stressful symptoms as reason for their higher usage. According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, which focused on how cannabis affected common mental illnesses, about 90% of users lowered symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress after smoking marijuana.
However, the study’s authors concluded, while “[c]annabis reduces perceived symptoms of negative affect in the short-term, but continued use may exacerbate baseline symptoms of depression over time.”
But relieving stress and anxiety isn’t the only reason why people are smoking more marijuana. The survey found that around 37% use more marijuana just to combat boredom during our time of social distancing and self-isolation. Another group (28.1%) say using marijuana has helped maintain social bonds at this time, whether they participate in virtual happy hours or within a quarantine setting.
Among those polled, the majority of households made between $10-100,000 in the past year, while about 6% of respondents preferred not to answer. Survey participants also came from across the country, with the largest groups coming from the South Atlantic (18.2%) and the Pacific (17%) regions.