Friday, February 23, 2024

Surprising Number Uses Marijuana To Not Get High

With Canada fully legal, 24 states in the US for recreational and 40 with medical, marijuana has gone mainstream.  A full 90% of people believe it should be legal in some form.  Is cannabis like alcohol and there for a good time, or are people truly using it for something else? The data say a surprising number uses marijuana to not get high, but to manage something medical.

Part of the reason this number is significant is research has shown cannabis is no where near as addictive as opioids. North America is facing an unprecedented opioid crisis leaving cities big and small in a turmoil about what to do.

According to a report from High Yield Insights, a Chicago-based consumer behavior research firm the numbers are intriguing.  States where recreational use has been legalized, nearly half (44 percent) of cannabis consumers are using cannabis for medical purposes, including for pain relief (69 percent) and sleep assistance (65 percent), and to manage anxiety (54 percent).

In another study published in Psychopharmacology, the numbers are lower but significant. In  US legal–recreational states (34%) than US illegal states (23%), US legal–medical only states (25%), and Canada (25%). The most common physical health reasons include use to manage pain (53%), sleep (46%), headaches/migraines (35%), appetite (22%), and nausea/vomiting (21%). For mental health reasons, the most common were for anxiety (52%), depression (40%), and PTSD/trauma (17%). There were 11% who reported using cannabis for managing other drug or alcohol use and 4% for psychosis.

Photo by Keenan Constance via Unsplash

High Yield Insights shared medical marijuana patients are twice as likely to check CBD levels when they purchase cannabis, with 47 percent verifying CBD concentrations versus 25 percent of recreational users. Medical users also seek out more convenient and discrete ways to consume, such as edibles, topicals, oils and tinctures. Notably, medical users are twice as likely as recreational consumers to use topicals (22 percent vs 11 percent) and over three times as likely to use tinctures (17 percent vs 5 percent).

Related: Cannabis Consumers Wean Off Of Booze, Over-The-Counter Drugs

“The industry generally understands that the adult use consumer differs significantly from the medical user. We saw an opportunity to quantify this customer segment’s behaviors and preferences in a way to yield deeper understanding and reveal untapped market opportunities,” said Mike Luce, co-founder of High Yield Insights and a veteran in consumer and market research.

“Flower will always play a significant role, but medical users are seeking solutions that feel familiar and accessible. With edibles, we’re seeing a demand for low- dose, fast-onset options that meet users’ needs for discretion and convenience. CBD-focused companies also have an opportunity for growth if aligned with medical cannabis users’ interest in what today are niche product forms,” Luce added.

Several studies have demonstrated medical marijuana helps reduce the opioid dosage for patients undergoing treatment for non-cancer pain. More research can be done to legal the patients benefits.

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