How Cannabis Has Helped People With Post-Pandemic Coping
Life completely changed as we knew it in March 2020, and the subsequent months proved to be challenging for many for a variety of reasons. Everybody’s life was impacted in one way or another, and most people had to find new ways of coping with the stress from the pandemic since gyms, restaurants, bars, and other social venues were no longer operating as normal. It did prove to be an enlightening time for many, however, especially for those who discovered the benefits cannabis products can provide on a regular basis.
People have used cannabis for thousands of years, though in recent years consuming the plant has received some opposition due to the psychoactive effects it can have on users. This had led many people to avoid consuming it, but the pandemic presented the perfect opportunity for people to dabble for the first time. Since the start of the pandemic, cannabis use has increased drastically, and the number of regular cannabis users is now higher than ever.
Learn more about how cannabis helped people during and after the pandemic below.
Cannabis Use Ranges from Medical to Recreational
Now that cannabis has become legal in several states across the U.S., it’s easier than ever to find a marijuana dispensary that offers a wide variety of cannabis products. Dispensaries located in states that allow recreational and medical cannabis often offer two menus that differentiate between their medical dispensary menu and their recreational one. What is the difference between medical and recreational cannabis, exactly?
Medical Marijuana Dispensary Offerings
Medical marijuana is the only form of legal marijuana in some states, while in other states both medical and recreational marijuana are legal. Medical marijuana menus often consist of similar products to those found on recreational menus, though the main focus of medical marijuana revolves around the therapeutic effects CBD provides over the psychoactive ones that THC gives. CBD, or cannabidiol, is fully legal in most states, and when isolated it can provide numerous potential physical and mental health benefits.
Research alludes to the fact that CBD seems to work even better in the body when there is some THC and other cannabinoids present in cannabis products – commonly referred to as the entourage effect. As always, more research is needed to answer the hundreds of questions that still remain on the topic. Medical marijuana menus, for the most part, offer cannabis products with higher concentrations of CBD that are thought to help with anxiety, depression, and provide a sense of overall relaxation. CBD can also help with chronic pain – many dispensaries offer tinctures and salves solely for the purpose of pain relief.
Medical cannabis products do still contain THC, the component that gives cannabis consumers a high feeling, however, it is generally in a smaller ratio than recreational products. In many states, medical cannabis products are also more closely monitored than recreational products, though it is not monitored as heavily as most other medical products.
The main distinction from a practical viewpoint, however, is that only people with a medical marijuana card can access the products on a medical marijuana menu.
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card
Those who wish to have access to the medical cannabis options must obtain a medical marijuana ID, though the process for receiving one differs in each state.
In Nevada, those who wish to obtain a medical marijuana card must submit an application to the Medical Marijuana Registry office, which includes a copy of your driver’s license or state ID, a prescription from a qualified healthcare provider, and an application fee. Medical marijuana may help with nausea, pain, and mental anguish to those suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and numerous other chronic diseases.
To obtain a prescription from a qualified healthcare practitioner, you can either visit a doctor that is licensed to prescribe cannabis, or you can speak with a medical professional that can prescribe it through video conferences. Several online services across the country offer easy-to-use services that allow you to obtain a prescription after a simple consultation with a medical cannabis professional.
Once you get your prescription, your provider will file the paperwork on your behalf to the correct entities, and you can then fill out and submit your application to get your medical marijuana card.
Recreational Cannabis Dispensary Offerings
As mentioned above, recreational cannabis dispensary menus are slightly different than medical ones. Recreational cannabis products tend to contain higher concentrations of THC, which give users a high feeling. Even if recreational cannabis consumers don’t have a medical marijuana card and cannot shop from the medical menu, they can still feel many of the same benefits as those with a medical marijuana card. It is likely that recreational users will experience heightened psychoactive effects compared to medical users, as recreational products generally contain higher THC concentrations.
Many recreational cannabis users enjoy an edible, vape, pre-roll, or extract on the weekends with friends or to relax and unwind with their favorite movie, playlist, or video game. Each type of consumption method offers its own set of pros and cons, and it can be truly rewarding to experiment with different products to figure out which ones work best for you.
Edibles come in the form of gummies, chocolates, baked goods, and so much more. They’re a delicious way to enjoy the effects of cannabis. Users should note that it can take up to two hours for edibles to kick in. Once the edible has kicked in, the effects can last between four to eight hours, which makes edibles a great consumption method for people who want sustained pain relief.
Vapes are easy to use, portable, and don’t release the signature cannabis scent. Their effects kick in within 15-20 minutes, and generally last around an hour. There are dozens of flavors, strains, and concentrations to choose from, and you can even get disposable vape pens if you don’t want to invest in your own equipment.
Pre-rolls provide various amounts of flower wrapped perfectly in paper for you to enjoy right out of the canister. Plenty of cannabis users enjoy the sensation of smoking pre-rolls because it feels like the most authentic cannabis experience. Like vapes, smoking cannabis provides relatively fast effects (in as little as 15 minutes), though their effects don’t stick around as long as edibles.
Extracts are just what they sound like – extracts of cannabis in the form of a highly concentrated paste, shatter, or wax that can be infused into edibles, dabbed, or vaporized. These products provide a potent punch quickly, and provide relief for those who don’t feel the effects of cannabis in low doses.
Tinctures are concentrated oils that can be placed under the tongue and are absorbed a bit more quickly than edibles. Tincture users can feel the effects in under an hour, and they stay in effect for a few hours at a time. Tinctures are a popular choice for first-time cannabis users and those who want a more discrete way to enjoy cannabis.
Topicals are balms, salves, lotions, or other products that are applied onto the skin. Topicals are incredibly popular for athletes or those dealing with chronic pain, and they can provide nearly instant relief to achy joints, sore muscles, and other painful spots on the body. These substances can help to reduce inflammation at the trouble spot and facilitate faster healing.
Vapes and edibles are two of the most popular consumption methods for recreational users, but you can always ask your local budtenders for recommendations on trying new cannabis ingestion methods and products.
Cannabis Consumption Before and During the Pandemic
Cannabis consumption was already booming before the infamous year of 2020. In fact, an analysis from the Washington Post claimed back in 2017 that cannabis had “truly” hit mainstream, and cannabis use had hit well above 20% of the population in several states according to Statista from 2018 to 2019. Since the pandemic started in early 2020, however, cannabis use hit an all-time high.
One survey found that college-age adults had begun turning more towards cannabis and away from alcohol during lockdowns, and a Canadian survey found that over one third of respondents self-reported that their own cannabis use had increased throughout 2020. The cannabis sales figures are also telling: a report from BDSA estimated a 46% increase in cannabis sales from 2019 to 2020, which translates to increased sales of $17.6 billion.
Some cannabis experts estimate that the cannabis industry will continue to skyrocket in popularity, and BDSA estimates a $28.6 billion market growth through 2026. It also estimates federal legalization in 2022, but only time will tell for sure. If cannabis does achieve federal legalization soon, the major hurdle for many prospective users will no longer stand in their way, and it may achieve mainstream adoption to the degree of alcohol.
Why Did Cannabis Consumption Increase During and After Lockdowns?
Experts have largely attributed the increase in cannabis consumption among college-aged adults to the fact that most were no longer able to gather at parties and consume alcohol in social contexts. In turn, many of them have turned to using cannabis when by themselves or with small groups. Other cannabis users have reported that the increase in stress throughout the pandemic made them reach for cannabis more often, especially when they dealt with feelings of isolation and loneliness. After all, there is some evidence that shows cannabis is beneficial for those struggling with stress, sleep problems, and lethargy.
Some have linked the increase in cannabis sales to the adoption of cannabis delivery. Many recreational and medical dispensaries changed their business models to include cannabis deliveries during lockdowns to stay in business, and it has helped connect more customers to cannabis than ever. Many prospective cannabis users felt too intimidated to enter a dispensary, but cannabis delivery has played a role in reducing the intimidation factor and made cannabis even more accessible. This is also true for people who don’t have access to reliable transportation or suffer from disabilities that make visiting a dispensary difficult.
The increased popularity of marijuana before and during the pandemic have also made it less taboo in our society, though we still have a long way to go. When people learn that a close friend or family member has turned to cannabis for a variety of reasons, it can often reduce the stigma associated with it and make others feel more comfortable to try it for themselves. As more and more people embrace cannabis, there is a good chance that it will only continue to increase in popularity in the coming years.
Cannabis Has Helped with Post-Pandemic Life Too
Most people felt at least a small degree of stress during the pandemic as most of us had to shift our daily lives quickly. Now that COVID-19 cases are beginning to drop in many areas of the world, businesses are starting to operate as they once did, and many places have relaxed regulations. This has led to post-pandemic stress in many individuals too, especially regarding social anxiety.
Because most people were relatively isolated into small social groups during lockdowns, there is now a collective feeling of increased social anxiety as we begin to emerge once again. This is a completely normal response to such a jarring event like lockdowns and a pandemic, but many are struggling to cope with a new normal.
Cannabis helps millions of people feel more relaxed and at-ease when they suffer from any kind of anxiety, and it has become especially helpful for people in social situations as groups begin to get larger again. If increased stress and anxiety after lockdowns are affecting your quality of sleep, cannabis may be able to help you fall asleep faster, which can have a major impact on your quality of life.
Visit Your Local Thrive Marketplace for All of Your Cannabis Needs
Ready to dive into the wonderful world of high-quality cannabis? Look no further than your local Thrive Marketplace. We have several convenient locations in and around Las Vegas, Reno, and Jackpot, Nevada. All of our locations are staffed with knowledgeable and experienced budtenders that are ready to answer your questions and help you find the best cannabis products for you.
You can stop into one of our locations, place an online order for pickup, and even have your cannabis delivered right to your door!