The Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Cannabis Users Study

Discover the key findings and implications of the research study led by the Cannabis Center of Excellence, INC and UMass Dartmouth on COVID-19's impact on medical cannabis patients and adult-use consumers.

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Medical Cannabis Responders
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Overview of the Completed Research Study:

Study Synopsis

The study conducted by the Cannabis Center of Excellence, INC, in partnership with UMass Dartmouth, provided groundbreaking insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic affected individuals using medical cannabis. This research, approved by the UMass Dartmouth Institutional Review Board, was a voluntary and anonymous initiative, offering crucial data on the pandemic's impact on the medical cannabis community.

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Sponsors of This Study:

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Key Findings and Significance Observed by Cannabis Center of Excellence

The impact of COVID-19 on medical cannabis patients and adult-use consumers has been significant, as highlighted by a survey with 481 complete responses. The average age of respondents is 44, with 56% identifying as female. Veterans comprise 9% of the respondents, while active service members account for just 1%. A notable 27% consider themselves disabled, reflecting the importance of medical cannabis in their treatment and management strategies. 

Among these respondents, 54% consume cannabis medically, under the recommendation of a licensed clinical provider and possess a state-approved medical cannabis card. Employment figures show that 44% are employed full time, underscoring the economic challenges faced by some in this group. 

Demographically, 82% identify as White or Euro-American, and 54% are married or in a domestic partnership. Educational attainment is notable, with 37% holding a Bachelor's degree. A significant majority, 77%, are based in Massachusetts, indicating a concentrated regional impact within the study. This data underscores the diverse backgrounds of cannabis users and the varied effects of the pandemic on their lives, especially in terms of access to and use of cannabis for medical purposes.

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 Benefits of the Study

  • Enhanced Understanding: The study offered valuable insights into the unique challenges and experiences faced by medical cannabis users during the pandemic.

  • Informed Recommendations: The findings are instrumental in developing targeted recommendations for public health policies, clinical practices, and community-driven initiatives.

  • Educational Impact: The research contributes significantly to the body of knowledge, aiding in educating both the public and policymakers about the specific needs and concerns of medical cannabis patients during health crises like COVID-19.

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Why This Study Matters

  • Filling the Knowledge Gap: The study addresses a critical gap in understanding the intersection between pandemic-related stressors and medical cannabis use.
  • Shaping Future Responses: The insights gained are crucial for shaping more effective responses in future public health emergencies, particularly concerning vulnerable communities like medical cannabis users.

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Covid-19 Study Results for Cannabis Medical Patients Were Impactful 
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Looking Forward: Implications and Future Directions

 The study on the impact of COVID-19 on medical cannabis patients and adult-use consumers reveals critical insights with significant implications for healthcare policy, cannabis regulation, and patient care strategies. The findings highlight the nuanced relationship between cannabis usage and healthcare needs during the pandemic. 

Notably, the high percentage of individuals consuming cannabis medically with a state-approved card underscores the essential status of cannabis for many patients. Furthermore, the demographic data, including a 44-year average age, a strong representation of female respondents and a considerable portion identifying as White or Euro-American point towards the need for inclusive policy frameworks that address the diverse backgrounds of cannabis consumers. The data also reflects economic challenges being employed full time, suggesting the pandemic's financial impact on this population.

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Moving forward, the findings from this study underline the urgent need for more research on how COVID-19 has changed the way people use cannabis, especially with an eye towards fair access to medical cannabis. It's crucial to blend cannabis policies with wider public health strategies and support systems to better serve groups in need, like veterans and those with disabilities. Given the significant use of cannabis for medical purposes revealed by the survey, it's clear that there should be continuous review and discussion about its role in healthcare. As we adjust to life after the pandemic, this research could shape future healthcare policies and cannabis studies, aiming to make medical cannabis more available to those who rely on it, thus improving overall health and quality of life for many.

Press for the Impact of Covid 19 on Medical Cannabis Users

Cannabis and the Pandemic

Cannabis Center of Excellence, led by CEO ​Marion McNabb and team ​Vanessa Jones, ​Alyssa Pingitore, and David 'DJ' Ritter, hosted a virtual event with experts discussing cannabis and COVID-19.

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Make a Donation

This resource collaborative is housed at the Cannabis Center of Excellence, INC. This work is made possible with funding from partners and collaborators.

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