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Did COVID-19 Boost Medical Marijuana Use?

The need for medical marijuana has seemingly changed, as many individuals are now looking for a stress-reliever and a similar form of “dopamine” to help endure the pandemic.

By Taneia Surles

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people, including newcomers to medical marijuana, have changed their reasons for using it. The virus is stressful for millions, if not billions of people worldwide, which has led many of them to resort to different options to find the contentment they once had pre-COVID. Thanks to alternative health options such as medical cannabis, many people can find relief for their ongoing stresses from the pandemic.

Based on data provided by healthcare technology company Veriheal and other sources, the use of medical marijuana has changed for many users since early 2020, when the pandemic officially took hold in the United States.

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The increase in unemployment rates, the introduction of virtual learning for previous in-person students, losing direct contact with a support system, and the threat of being evicted have led many to resort to medical marijuana to ease their stresses surrounding the pandemic. Many individuals who had not previously been diagnosed with a mental illness began to show symptoms throughout this pandemic, leading to a significant increase in the need for mental health services and medications.

For those who prefer alternative health options, medical marijuana was the chosen method to ease their stresses and other possible mental health symptoms. For Veriheal, a CannaTech company that helps its customers receive a medical marijuana card, they have seen a drastic change in why their customers are pursuing medical cannabis.

According to the data provided by Veriheal, the number one reason or “effects desired” for individuals wanting medical marijuana was “happy/bliss,” with “relief/pain-free” being the second reason. Typically, most medical marijuana users suffer from chronic pain or mental illnesses that they can alleviate with medically prescribed cannabis. The need for medical marijuana has seemingly changed, as many individuals are now looking for a stress-reliever and a similar form of “dopamine” to help endure the pandemic.

RELATED: Medical Marijuana Is Booming Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic

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Here is some additional information pulled from Veriheal’s data:

  • Pennsylvania currently has the highest demand for medical cannabis compared to other states, with the possible reason being that the state is medical-only.
  • The city of New York has the highest demand for medical cannabis as a city. It is to be noted that at one point during the pandemic, New York City had the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • The number one reason males use medical cannabis is to be happy (42%), while women use it primarily for relief (39%). As mentioned earlier, the two primary uses for medical marijuana during the pandemic are happiness/blissfulness and pain relief.

RELATED: Moms Are Using Marijuana More Than Ever During Pandemic

The data provided from Veriheal helps to give insight into how the future will look for medical marijuana. Even with the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, there is no set-in-stone date when the pandemic will end. With this in mind, being happy or blissful may continue to be the top reason why people are pursuing medical marijuana for the near future.

 

This article originally appeared on Green Market Report and has been reposted with permission.

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