A new US survey will examine the effect of the pandemic on recreational and medical cannabis and CBD use.
The survey led by the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative aims to better understand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on cannabis and CBD use.
The social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with high rates of infection has had an unprecedented effect on mental health.
A recent CDC survey found that more than four in 10 Americans are struggling with pandemic-related mental health issues, including increased substance use.
Ziva Cooper, PhD, interim director and research director of the Cannabis Research Initiative, commented: “It’s hypothesized that recreational cannabis, medical cannabis and CBD (cannabidiol) use has changed due to COVID-19 for a number of reasons including self-medication for mental health conditions.
“The objective of this U.S.-based anonymous survey is to understand if and why cannabis and CBD use has changed.”
The survey will explore whether people who use recreational and medical cannabis have changed the way they use it to reduce the pulmonary risk associated with inhalation (vaporizing or smoking).
It will also investigate if and how medical cannabis and CBD use has changed for mental health conditions (anxiety, insomnia, depression) associated with COVID-19 and seek to understand if cannabis use (frequency and method of use) changed in people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“It’s good to remember that cannabis dispensaries are deemed essential in many U.S. States and that delivery services now provide a method to obtain cannabis without the risk of exposure,” Cooper said.
“This means in certain states cannabis is as accessible as other essentials and most likely more accessible than many prescription medications used to treat many indications that people cite as reasons for cannabis and CBD use.”
The initial survey will include 2,000 individuals across the US to incorporate different perspectives from different areas of the country.
The survey is expected to be completed by the end of the month.