A new study will be looking at the impact of the novel coronavirus – COVID-19 – on patients who use medical cannabis.
A preliminary study looking at the impact of COVID-19 on cannabis patients, led by the University of Miami, will be utilising epidemiology expertise, and looking at data collected on the patterns and trends of medical cannabis patients during the coronavirus outbreak.
Currently, medical cannabis patients are facing delays in the procurement of medicines due to the crisis, making them a vulnerable group that may be impacted by the virus.
Cannabis use in a time of crisis
The researchers will be using an anonymous survey to obtain from medical cannabis patients regarding their mental health and physical health, as well as examining changes in patient’s frequency of use of cannabis, dosage, and route of administration based on COVID-19-realted closures and updates.
Denise C Vidot, PhD, trained epidemiologist and assistant professor at the School of Nursing and Health Studies, is leading the preliminary study. She said: “The global qualifying conditions for medical cannabis, though not uniform, all include individuals with compromised immune systems and other chronic health conditions. Therefore, this is a population that we cannot forget about in our joint effort to ‘flatten the curve’.
“If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that population-based data is vital to make informed decisions. My team and I understand that the plural of anecdote is not data. So, we are combining our skills to do our part to provide that data. Our goal is to have cannabis users from every country complete this survey, so the data is more generalisable.”
Another topic that experts will be investigating is the sharing of inhaled cannabis products, such as joints and vapes, among users – what could be a contributing factor to the spread of the novel coronavirus.