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Survey Finds More People Turning to Cannabis Over Alcohol During Pandemic



A Harris Poll survey found 45 percent of respondents had reduced or replaced their alcohol consumption with cannabis since the beginning of the pandemic.

The survey, conducted on behalf of the cannabis company Curaleaf, was given online in October 2020 to nearly 2,000 adults in the U.S. aged 21 years or older. Results also showed 42 percent of respondents either began or increased their cannabis usage during the pandemic. Earlier this year, research from Oregon State University’s National College Health Assessment survey found states with legal recreational cannabis had lower rates of binge drinking.

“Educating consumers around cannabis consumption is so important,” said Stacia Woodcock, PharmD and Dispensary Manager for Curaleaf in New York. “Curaleaf’s pharmacists and committed dispensary associates make it a priority to educate our patients and consumers and help them find the right products to make cannabis a part of their lives.”

More than half of the respondents (54 percent) said they began using cannabis due to stress and anxiety stemming from the pandemic, including 64 percent of women polled and 47 percent of men polled. Half of the respondents said they used cannabis to relax, and just under half of respondents said they began using or increased their cannabis use to help them sleep.

The survey also found the pandemic is changing the cannabis consumption habits of parents. A little over half of parents (52 percent) who have consumed cannabis said they started or increased their consumption since the beginning of the pandemic, and 57 percent of parent respondents have reduced or replaced alcohol consumption with cannabis consumption. Parents are also more likely to use cannabis primarily for medical use.

“The liberalization of the plant—and the increasing diversity among consumers who enjoy it—will continue as the general public becomes more interested in incorporating cannabis in their health and wellness routines,” said Joe Bayern, president of Curaleaf.

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