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Cannabis After Coronavirus: What Will Be The Long Term Impact?

In the wake of the unprecedented coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak caused by SARS-CoV-2, the relevance of cannabis use and its implications on health have gained prominence. As we continue to grapple with the aftermath of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its impact on public health, it becomes imperative to explore the potential implications of cannabis use in this context.

Recent studies have shed light on the relationship between cannabis consumption and COVID-19 outcomes. Cannabis users, particularly regular cannabis users, may face multiple clinical risks when it comes to infectious diseases. The risk factors include cannabis smoking and vaping, which can have respiratory effects that affect the immune system, as well as tobacco use and previous smoking history.

In this blog post, we will delve into the key points that have emerged from studies exploring the relationship between cannabis use and COVID-19.

Recent data on cannabis consumption in Canada reveal intriguing trends and changes, shedding light on the evolving landscape of cannabis use. Notably, there is a disparity between males and females, with 30% of males reporting higher past-year cannabis use compared to 25% of females.

This distinction raises questions about potential shifts in how people are using cannabis, as well as changes in the reasons for its consumption. Reported past 12-month cannabis use increased among females from 2021 to 2022, while it remained unchanged among males.

This gender-based difference prompts a closer examination of the role of cannabis in managing post-pandemic stress and the potential impact on various demographics.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Cannabis Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a substantial impact on the cannabis industry, influencing various aspects, from regulations to consumer behaviour. As cannabis users grappled with the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus, multiple clinical risks came to the forefront.

Recent retrospective cohort analyses indicated that cannabis smoking might pose higher risks for COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, cannabis consumption, mainly smoking, raised concerns due to its potential respiratory effects.

As the World Health Organization noted the immunomodulatory properties of cannabinoids, further investigations were prompted. Nevertheless, cannabis was recognized as an essential business in some areas, emphasizing its significance during the pandemic. Changes in regulations and sales occurred as the industry adapted to the evolving landscape.

COVID-19 & Substance Use Disorder

Substance use and drug overdoses have surged in the United States since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, posing a significant public health concern.

A study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), analyzing electronic health records of over 73 million patients, revealed that individuals with substance use disorders were 1.5 times more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and more likely to experience severe complications, including hospitalization and death.

The United States has witnessed a steady rise in drug overdose deaths since the 1980s. This alarming trend intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, with overdose deaths skyrocketing by over 30% in 2020 and continuing to escalate in 2021.

Factors associated with the pandemic, such as social isolation, increased stress levels, individuals using drugs alone, and diminished access to treatment and services, are believed to have exacerbated this trend. However, further research is warranted to fully comprehend the intricate link between the pandemic and overdose deaths.

The Cannabis Market and Economic Opportunities in 2023

The post-pandemic cannabis market in 2023 presents a promising landscape for economic opportunities. With the evolving attitudes and regulatory changes surrounding cannabis, the industry is poised for significant growth and investment.

As the world adapts to the new normal, the cannabis market stands out as a sector with vast potential. Recent developments and products, including innovative strains, cannabis-based treatments, and consumption methods, are continuously emerging.

These offerings provide diverse avenues for entrepreneurs and investors to explore the cannabis industry. This dynamic industry offers not only the potential for financial success but also the chance to contribute to the ongoing research and development of cannabis-based products.

Medical and Therapeutic Applications

Recent research findings have unveiled promising breakthroughs that highlight the potential of cannabis in addressing various health concerns. One particularly intriguing aspect is its capacity to offer relief in the realm of mental health and wellness post-pandemic.

The world witnessed the importance of mental well-being during the crisis, and cannabis is being studied for its potential to help individuals cope with the aftermath. As we continue to explore the therapeutic applications of cannabis, it becomes clear that the substance possesses immunomodulatory properties.

Additionally, its potential to modulate the body’s response to infectious diseases could hold substantial promise in the treatment field. The evolving landscape of medical cannabis is likely to bring better outcomes and improved well-being for a multitude of patients.

Cannabis Use Linked to Better COVID-19 Outcomes

A recent study has found that cannabis users who contracted COVID-19 had significantly better outcomes and reduced mortality compared to people who do not use marijuana.

The study, which analyzed data from over 320,000 hospitalized patients, found that cannabis users were less likely to die from COVID-19. In addition, further investigation found that marijuana users are less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and less likely to require mechanical ventilation.

Researchers at the University of Oregon have also explored cannabis as a potential treatment for COVID-19, suggesting that its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties may play a role in its positive effects on disease outcomes.

While these findings are promising, it is important to note that the study is observational, meaning that it does not prove that cannabis use causes better COVID-19 outcomes. It is possible that other factors, such as lifestyle or underlying health conditions, could explain the association between cannabis use and COVID-19 outcomes.

Is Cannabis Still Considered Essential After The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Yes, Cannabis remains essential even after the coronavirus pandemic. The reasons behind this designation are grounded in both medical and economic factors. For medical cannabis users, it plays a crucial role in managing various conditions, offering relief from symptoms, and improving their quality of life.

Furthermore, the economic aspect cannot be ignored, as the cannabis industry has significantly contributed to job creation, tax revenue, and investment opportunities. As more research unfolds, the potential therapeutic benefits of Cannabis are becoming increasingly evident.

This dual significance in terms of health and the economy solidifies Cannabis as an essential element in the post-pandemic world, continuing to serve the needs of both individuals and society at large.

In 2023, the cannabis industry is witnessing dynamic economic and market trends, marking its resilience post-COVID-19. The landscape has evolved significantly, with emerging opportunities and challenges for cannabis businesses.

As societal attitudes towards cannabis continue to shift, legalization efforts have gained momentum in various regions, expanding the market’s horizons.

The demand for innovative cannabis products and therapies is growing, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. However, challenges such as evolving regulations, market saturation, and competition also pose considerations for industry players.

Final Thoughts

In the post-COVID era, the landscape of cannabis has undergone notable shifts. With changing perspectives and legal frameworks, the demand for cannabis has been on the rise. People are exploring the potential benefits of cannabis in addressing various health and wellness concerns that have emerged during the pandemic.

This surge in interest has not only impacted cannabis users but also shaped the economic landscape of the cannabis industry, offering new opportunities and challenges.


  • Yitong Xin, Corrine Schwarting, Stacey B. Armstrong, Paul B Nagib, E. Bonar, Brooke J. Arterberry, A. K. Davis (November 14, 2022) Increases in marijuana use and negative emotions during COVID-19 pandemic among college students with cannabis use disorder
  • Bo Wang, Dongping Li, Anna Fiselier, I. Kovalchuk, O. Kovalchuk (March 11, 2022) New AKT-dependent mechanisms of anti-COVID-19 action of high-CBD Cannabis sativa extracts
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I’m Zoey Roy, a Cannabis Compliance Specialist and Cannabis Activist. I am experienced in guiding individuals and businesses through complex cannabis regulations. With a Bachelor’s degree in Research from McGill University, I’ve worked at Neptune Wellness for 4 years as a senior researcher. Now I serve as a Cannabis Industry Analyst at Tilray Brands, Inc. I provide essential support in ensuring compliance, educating clients, and facilitating legal requirements. My expertise extends to marketing and laboratory skills, making me a well-rounded professional in the field.