Users of medical marijuana are facing delays in receiving their medicines due to disrupted supply chains from the coronavirus crisis. Making them vulnerable as a group impacted by the virus, researchers from the University of Miami School of Nursing have announced a preliminary study to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on patients prescribed with medical marijuana.
For the study, the researchers launched an anonymous electronic survey (you can take it here) to record the experiences of those using medical marijuana. Taking between five and ten minutes to complete, all answers will be kept strictly confidential.
In particular, the researchers hope to gather information from patients using medical marijuana regarding their mental and physical health, as well as changes in the frequency of their use, dosage and administrative method of the substance. They are especially hoping to find out whether usage of the substance has changed due to COVID-19 closures and updates.
On top of this, the researchers hope to receive information on sharing habits of inhaled cannabis products such as joints and vapes. This data may then be used to help them the scientific community map how the usage of cannabis has, and is able to, spread the virus.
“The global qualifying conditions for medical cannabis, though not uniform, all include individuals with compromised immune systems and other chronic health conditions.” said Denise C Vidot, assistant professor lead author of the preliminary study. “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.”
The announcement of this preliminary study comes weeks after health officials across two-dozen states in the US passed emergency laws to ensure that state-qualified medical marijuana patients would be able to have uninterrupted access to cannabis products.