Yep. More people in the U.S. report using medical weed during COVID-19

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New data released by WayofLeaf suggests the demand for medical marijuana (MMJ) among actual and potential card applicants has been on the rise during the pandemic

Survey results show that 70.7 per cent of those applicants needed cannabis “more in the past 12 months” compared to other years, according to WayofLeaf. Almost the same percentage, 71 per cent, of those polled noted they would prefer to use medical cannabis under the guidance of a doctor, rather than on their own.

After witnessing a spike in MMJ card requests, the company surveyed 155 recent MMJ applicants to determine what might be behind the increased interest.

Asked the main reasons why respondents were interested in getting an MMJ card, the most popular reason — cited by almost one in three participants or 32 per cent — “was to help deal with anxiety and stress,” survey figures indicate.

The next two most common reasons related to diagnosed medical conditions, reported by 27.7 per cent of respondents, and general pain relief, noted by 23.1 per cent of poll participants. “Surprisingly, sleep issues accounted for just 5.2 per cent of the vote,” the company reports.

“It’s clear the pandemic has produced heightened levels of stress and anxiety, and far more people than we expected are looking to medical cannabis as a potential outlet for relief,” contends WayofLeaf content director Dylan Baker.

And while 85 per cent of respondents said they felt “confident or very confident” that medical cannabis could help with their specific condition, there was a fly in the ointment. Less than half of those taking part in the survey noted they were with current MMJ card application processes.

Indeed, survey results show almost 70 per cent of current and potential MMJ applicants would prefer to apply for their cards online, as opposed to at a clinic, and just 20.3 per cent would like to apply directly through their doctors.

The demand for medical marijuana even seems strong even in states that have recently voted to legalize recreational marijuana use, WayofLeaf reports.

Recently released data from Statistics Canada show that of the survey respondents who consumed cannabis before COVID-19, 34 per cent reported using more during the pandemic. Within that group, 35 per cent said they consumed weed five or more days per week.

Averaged over three surveys conducted for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in May and June of 2020, 52 per cent of those who had consumed cannabis in the previous week reported they were using it more than before the pandemic.

“We know that regular use of cannabis leads to greater health problems, addiction and other mental health disorders,” senior author Tara Elton-Marshall said at the time. “Seeing a sustained increase in cannabis use during the first wave of the pandemic is a concern.”

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