COVID-19 Crisis Triggers Changes in Marijuana Consumer Behavior
It’s safe to say the world has never experienced something quite like the Coronavirus pandemic. Three months after appearing in Wuhan, China, the virus has infected more than 1.4 million individuals worldwide and claimed at least 87,000 lives. Countries have had to radically overhaul systems that have been in place for decades to help contain the virus. And many experts say things may not go back to ‘normal’ once the pandemic dies down.
One interesting development with the announcement of lockdowns in various U.S. states was the increased demand for marijuana. Both recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries were seeing increased sales as people stocked up. Soon after, most of the states with legal marijuana programs declared marijuana as essential, thus allowing the industry to keep running during the pandemic. Although marijuana businesses haven’t been granted access to disaster relief loans, most states have passed emergency measures to allow them to transact with their customers under safer and more hygienic conditions. This includes allowing curbside pickups and home deliveries.
Hemp Companies Contribute to Fight against COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected lakhs of people worldwide with corporates, governments, and citizens of various countries having joined the arduous battle against the disease. When everyone is doing their part, hemp companies have also come forward to make their contributions and advance help during the crises. Most medical marijuana dispensaries have been allowed to remain open to take care of patients and many CBD brands have come forward to fight against the pandemic.
For instance, Cloudious9 has plans to donate a large number of infrared thermometers to the San Francisco Bay Area Emergency Services, where the supply is inadequate since January. These thermometers would help in ensuring the safety of the employees by minimizing the risk of exposure among them as well as the public. The company is also involved with local and state agencies to facilitate the process of procurement of critical medical supplies. Another company called Moxie is in the process of formulating hand sanitizers, which would be packaged and delivered to all customers along with other deliveries. These formulations would also be donated to hospitals, clinics, community members, etc. and given the high demand coupled with a low shortage this initiative would prove to be highly useful.
Massachusetts Sees More Applications for Medical Marijuana Cards during COVID-19 Pandemic
As the novel Coronavirus keeps the world in a perpetual state of fear and uncertainty, Massachusetts has registered an upsurge in the number of people seeking medical marijuana cards. This has been a consistent theme in most states that allow medical marijuana, with both medical and recreational marijuana stores experiencing increased demand.
In many states, this included marijuana businesses. States like Colorado have even taken extra steps like allowing curbside pickups and home deliveries to keep employees and patients safe. And most of these states registered increased demand for marijuana, which many uses to help with a variety of conditions including anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain.
According to the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), there were 1,300 new medical marijuana patients registered in Massachusetts between March 23 and April 1, compared to the 500 just 10 days prior. While some states designated both recreational and medical marijuana as essential, Massachusetts doesn’t allow recreational marijuana sales during the pandemic.
Before patients can apply for a medical marijuana card online, they must get a recommendation from a state-certified physician. And following social distancing directives, the CCC recently revised some of its rules temporarily to allow medical practitioners to certify new patients using telehealth. To be eligible, you must have a qualifying medical condition such as HIV or Parkinson’s disease.
Does CBD help with arthritis pain?
CBD, along with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other chemicals, is found in marijuana. But unlike THC, CBD is not “psychoactive” — that is, it does not cause the intoxication or high associated with marijuana use. There’s a good chance you’ve tried it already: according to a Gallup poll in August of 2019, about 14% of Americans report using CBD products, and the number one reason is pain. The Arthritis Foundation conducted its poll and found that 29% reported current use of CBD (mostly in liquid or topical form), and nearly 80% of respondents were either using it, had used it in the past, or were considering it. Of those using it, most reported improvement in physical function, sleep, and well-being; of note, a minority reported improvement in pain or stiffness.
CBD might be a promising approach, and animal studies showing anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, well-designed studies demonstrating compelling evidence that CBD is safe and effective for chronic arthritis pain in humans do not exist. A randomized trial of topical CBD for osteoarthritis of the knee has been published, but in abstract form only (meaning it’s a preliminary report that summarizes the trial and has not been thoroughly vetted yet); the trial lasted only 12 weeks, and results were mixed at best. One of the largest reviews examined the health effects of cannabis and CBD, and concluded that there is “substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.”
Cannabis May Ease Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms, Johns Hopkins Study Finds
Researchers are calling for formal clinical trials into the efficacy of marijuana for treating opioid use disorder after a newly published study found that cannabis may ease many common symptoms of opioid withdrawal. The study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment asked 200 people with past-month opioid and marijuana use whether their symptoms of opioid withdrawal improved or worsened when they consumed cannabis.
Of the 125 respondents who used marijuana to treat their withdrawal, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said it eased their symptoms, while only 6.4 percent said it made them worse. Another 20 percent reported mixed results, and three people (2.4 percent) said cannabis didn’t seem to have an obvious effect either way. “These results show that cannabis may improve opioid withdrawal symptoms and that the size of the effect is clinically meaningful.”
The results of their new study, however, suggest that cannabis is doing far more to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms than to make them worse. Of 18 common symptoms the researchers examined, participants on average said that cannabis helped ease every single one.