As social distancing measures – and just overall 2020 shenanigans – have had a huge impact on both our physical and mental health, many people have turned to marijuana and CBD products as a way to cope with everything the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on, resulting in a distinct rise in CBD and medical marijuana sales.
Feature photo source: Unsplash
Using Marijuana to Treat Anxiety, Insomnia and Chronic Pain
In cities like California and Colorado, where medical and recreational cannabis is legal, the high demand for all related products has shown no signs of slowing down.
The same goes for states like Florida, where people have turned to marijuana and CBD products as a way to cope with anxiety, insomnia, and, in many cases, chronic pain.
When the COVID-19 outbreak was first reported, people stocked up on basics like food (and infamously toilet paper) and long lines formed outside legal marijuana dispensaries in cities like Los Angeles, meaning your usual 10 to 15 minute trip to the dispensary turned into an hours-long venture, even if you had a previous appointment.
Florida sees Sharp Rise in Medical Marijuana Sales
Sales have been on the rise since 2016, when medical marijuana was became legalized in the sunny state, and has risen at least 40% since the start of the pandemic.
To illustrate this, from September 11 to September 17, dispensaries sold around 134 million milligrams of medical marijuana all around the state.
An even higher number of sales came from CBD products, going from an 8.7% decrease of sales in the same period of time last year to a 57% increase in the last 6 months. This is often the case with cannabidiol products as they are non-psychoactive and more accessible.
Decriminalization of Marijuana Could bring Projections Even Higher
It’s been reported that the medical and recreational marijuana industry across the country will close the year with $15 billion in revenue.
Projections for 2024 total U.S sales are around $24 billion dollars – and those are current projections since the fight to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in several states continues and legislation on decriminalization of marijuana is in the works.
Marijuana and Health
Positive effects of marijuana and CBD products have been widely discussed, gaining even more popularity in the last decade as the negative stigma is decreasing.
Discussions around the benefits of cannabis on mental and physical health have also widened as people look for natural alternatives to deal with stress or treat other health conditions.
The social and political climate in the country have also led to a spike in mental health emergencies. The situation has been, of course, heightened by the pandemic and the increasing numbers of unemployment, causing feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and isolation.
Positive Sides of Marijuana Use
Research has shown that the endocannabinoid compounds in cannabis can be helpful in regulating moods, providing aid with these conditions, as well as treating chronic pain, regulating glaucoma, some symptoms of ADHD and ADD and many other health conditions.
The positive sides of marijuana have long been discussed and it comes as no surprise that the industry is seeing such a high rise in demand of marijuana and CBD products.
Marijuana Dispensaries as Essential Businesses
Effects are such that cannabis dispensaries have been deemed essential businesses in most states where the plant is legal, allowing them to remain open through shutdowns.
Dispensary Curbside Pickup
Most cannabis businesses, however, have made an effort to comply with health and safety guidelines, limiting the numbers of visitors at a time in the store and enabling curbside pick-up for some purchases.