Researchers say the findings indicate that new cannabis consumers – at least during the pandemic — were more likely to use cannabis to improve their mental and emotional health, as opposed to treating pain and other physical symptoms.
“We found that people are seeking psychological relief in response to exogenous shocks including COVID-19 and beyond. Periods of social unrest, such as the Black Lives Matter protests and 2020 elections, can be seen as spikes in medical cannabis interest within our datasets,” said Haq.
Positive Views About CBD Products
Most pain patients have favorable views about medical cannabis, according to a second, smaller survey of people being treated at pain management clinics in southern California. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Pain Research.
Researchers recruited 253 patients to participate in the survey, most of whom were on Medicaid or Medicare and had low incomes. Nearly two thirds (62%) said they had tried a CBD product in different formulations, including those containing THC.
Most CBD users said it significantly reduced their pain (59%) and allowed them to reduce or stop their use of pain medication (68%), including opioids (54%).
CBD was particularly effective for those suffering from back pain (67%) and nerve pain (47%), and less effective for patients with fibromyalgia (21%) and migraine (33%).
“While the familiarity with dosing was mixed and participants used a wide variety of products including products containing THC, they report that these products have helped them with many different pain-involving and neurological conditions,” wrote lead author Jan Schilling, MD, Scientific Director of Vitamed Research. “This cohort also reported that products both with and without THC have helped them to reduce overall pain medication and more specifically opioid medication.”
Most respondents believed that CBD was a good treatment option, not harmful and not addictive. About half said they would be more comfortable if their physician prescribed CBD products.