As parents have to accept responsibilities as caregiver and educator, they have turned to cannabis to help ease the burden.
Marijuana consumption has hit all-time highs during the coronavirus pandemic, but a new survey finds parents using cannabis at nearly double the rate as non-parents. According to an Oasis Intelligence report, having kids at home has played a significant factor in American adult marijuana consumption over the past month.
Oasis, which provides consumers insights for the cannabis industry, surveyed 720 U.S. consumers between March 30 and April 16, 2020 in order to understand what effect shelter-in-place orders, as well as the general stress of the global pandemic, has had on cannabis use.
This representative sample showed a higher percentage of parents with kids at home have consumed marijuana in the past month compared those without kids staying with them. Among parents, 16% of moms say they have used cannabis and 11% of dads. Most striking, only 7% of men without kids had consumed marijuana in the past month, the lowest group among U.S. adults.
“While millions of lives have been upended by the pandemic, changes in day-to-day life have been particularly dramatic for parents suddenly thrust into the role of both caregiver and educator while balancing work and other demands, and attempts to cope with this increased workload appear to be showing up in cannabis consumption rates,” Oasis co-founders Laura Albers and Ben Woo told The Fresh Toast in a joint statement.
A 2019 Oasis Intelligence Report could explain why parents have turned to cannabis amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Oasis found 85% of adults use marijuana partly for medical and wellness reasons rather than just for recreational purposes. More specifically, stress and anxiety relief was the most common reason adults used marijuana (40%). Sleep aid (30%) and depression relief (28%) were other common motivations for cannabis use.
But the recent report concluded that parents who consumed marijuana were more hopeful than those who didn’t at a 2-to-1 rate. About 31% of moms are feeling “hopeful” about their current situations, compared to only 20% of non-parents, and now state they value personal relationships more than they did before.
“In truth, parents as a primary cannabis demographic was likely always on the rise, but the unique demands of the pandemic have accelerated their entry into the market,” Woo said. “While this particular surge in new users may be tied more directly to shelter-in-place orders, the effects on the cannabis industry will be long lasting, and the lessons learned can inform any company’s approach to potential consumers for years to come.”