It definitely did!
Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a wild rise in the number of medical marijuana patients.
Veriheal and other licensed medical cannabis outlets verified this claim.
States like Pennsylvania and even New York City saw more than a 50% increase in the number of registered cannabis patients over the last year.
During the pandemic, thousands lost their jobs. Millions of parents had to stay at home all day with their children and teenagers because of the virtual learning that came into play. Not to mention that millions of employees in the United States had to immediately adapt to working from home. Although health workers couldn’t work from home, their workload more or less tripled due to the pandemic. It’s not surprising that the demand for medical cannabis shot up.
In this article, I will attempt to discuss the reasons for the newcomers in the medical cannabis sphere.
The pandemic has been mentally stressing
Billions of people all over the world were left with very little joy-inducing and stress-relieving activities due to the various lockdowns.
This made the majority of these individuals dabble into different options to relieve their stress and find contentment as well as solace in their isolation. While some tried out online gaming, others found out about medical cannabis.
Luckily for them, medical cannabis turned out to be an alternative health option to relieve these individuals of their different mental stressors. They in turn recommended it to family and acquaintances.
COVID-19 increased anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts
The pandemic took a serious toll on mental health. Recent studies showed that anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts increased due to patients having no access to their regular health care.
A Lot of factors aggravated the challenging mental health symptoms. They all sought a panacea to cope.
Medical cannabis provides mental health services
Medical marijuana was an escape for some individuals who began to show symptoms of mental disorders during the pandemic.
Truly the pandemic induced mental illnesses in thousands of Americans. It was severe with those that had to stay alone for weeks on end during the lockdown without human contact. Mental Medications were needed and medical cannabis was recommended in droves.
An average of 91 percent increase was observed in the use of medical cannabis for mental health conditions.
Medical cannabis also helps with other ailments
In addition to a mental-related health condition, these drugs can also be used for chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, cardiometabolic conditions, and other symptoms related to these ailments.
At the peak of the pandemic, about 60% of the patients suffering from these conditions used medical cannabis daily or almost daily to relieve their symptoms.
Those that were already using these drugs before the pandemic upped their dosage or changed the product they were using previously to more effective products.
In an article I read on Forbes, the wrote that from a study, it was observed that 38.4% increased their dosage, while less than 10% decreased their dosage.
States recorded an increased number in the number of medical marijuana cards issued last year
Medical cannabis was the method widely chosen by Americans to ease their stress levels. They all wanted the happy and blissful effect induced by these drugs. While some wanted relief and pain from the health-related symptoms.
The pandemic reduced the attention other ailments got. These patients were unable to visit their hospitals to see their doctors regarding their symptoms. Most of them suffer from chronic pain, doctors had to prescribe medical cannabis to help these patients stay afloat till appointments could be fixed for them.
These numbers are still increasing, as many individuals are now open to using medical cannabis as a means to alleviate their stress. The dopamine compound in medical cannabis is an added advantage. It gives patients the motivation they need to endure the bad phases of the pandemic.
Veriheal disclosed some data in a publication issued out.
Some of the additional information gotten from the data include;
New York City recorded the largest amount of demand for medical cannabis. If you can recall, the city had the highest number of COVID-19 patients at a point.
About 42 percent of men who use medical cannabis used it to be happy. When about 39 percent of women who used, used it for its pain-relieving effects.
Currently, the State of Pennsylvania has the highest demand for medical cannabis. This may be since the state has only legalized the drug for medical purposes. Some of these users may be recreational users posing as medical patients.
What the future holds
The future of medical cannabis in the United States looks bright. From the above date, we can deduce that Americans won’t halt their weed-smoking any time soon. Because they know these drugs will always provide the bliss and pain relief they need.
Moreover, no one knows when exactly the pandemic will come to an end, despite the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines.
We can only hope that more research is carried out on cannabis plants to discover better medical benefits to using plants. This way, better and improved medical cannabis drugs will be developed and sold at subsidized rates to the Americans who need them.
COVID-19 has truly boosted the number of medical marijuana patients in the United States. However, the regulatory bodies seem to be ignoring the fact that these patients might end up getting addicted to these drugs.
I think I can say that the official number of medical marijuana users must be doubled to get the unofficial number of Americans using these drugs for health-related reasons. These people have not been prescribed these drugs, hence have no idea of the right amount to use. In addition to getting addicted, it can also complicate other health issues in the user.
The government has to step in and review the permits of these patients in the country. Because while marijuana might reduce the pain, stress, anxiety, or even boredom of these patients, they have to accept quickly that the induced effects are temporary. Long term use of these drugs might worsen the symptoms it was meant to suppress.