It makes total sense that, in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, people have been suffering from increased stress and mental health issues. With that in mind, many people have been considering medical marijuana as a way to help deal with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
That represents a huge opportunity for medical marijuana stock investors.
First, let’s get the research out of the way.
Mental health issues during the pandemic have been being exacerbated by prolonged isolation and a general atmosphere of concern about the virus. (Source: “COVID-19 Effects on the Mental Health of Vulnerable Populations,” Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, last accessed April 28, 2021.)
After all, during the first wave of COVID-19, many people weren’t prepared for the unexpected alterations they would have to make to their daily lives. Everything from going to the grocery store to seeing their parents became infinitely more complicated. That lack of preparation, as you’d imagine, led to a spike in mental health issues as many struggled to cope with the “new normal.”
On the back of a once-in-a-century pandemic, many people have had fears about job loss, personal health, family health, seemingly interminable isolation, schooling and care for children, and more.
And those issues haven’t exactly gotten better with time. In a poll by Mental Health Research Canada, as many as 22% of respondents in late 2020 reported being diagnosed with depression. (Source: “Canadians Reporting More Anxiety and Depression Than Ever Before, Poll Finds,” CTV News, January 14, 2021.)
What this tells us is that, even as people got used to the new normal, that adjustment hasn’t improved their overall mental health.
And considering we were already undergoing a smaller version of this mental health crisis pre-pandemic (about one in five Canadians had mental health issues before the COVID-19 outbreak), the pandemic has only made the struggle more difficult. (Source: “Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics,” Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, last accessed April 28, 2021.)
Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) found that 93% of countries worldwide faced disruptions to their critical mental health services—or had to outright halt them—due to the pandemic. (Source: “COVID-19 Disrupting Mental Health Services in Most Countries, WHO Survey,” World Health Organization, October 5, 2020.)
This, in turn, has left many people looking for new treatments. And with the general stigma surrounding cannabis as a medical treatment abating over time, we’ve seen an increase in people willing to consider medical pot.
According to a Canadian study, 52% of existing cannabis users reported an increase in their consumption during the first wave of the pandemic. (Source: “COVID-19 and Mental Health: Can Medical Cannabis Help Manage Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD?” Medical Marijuana Consulting, April 16, 2021.)
Another survey found that 40% of respondents used cannabis specifically to deal with anxiety. (Source: Ibid.)
While more research needs to be conducted, a number of studies have shown that medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) have great promise when it comes to treating a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
With COVID-19 having a massive impact on our collective mental health (with that impact likely not being temporary, as we continue to reel from the pandemic and its seemingly endless lockdowns), this could be a huge chance for medical pot to emerge as a treatment that could help thousands, if not millions, of people deal with mental health issues.
Remember, however, that among the largest barriers to the medical marijuana industry is the federal U.S. restriction on research that comes with cannabis being labeled a Schedule I drug.
While President Joe Biden hasn’t shown any willingness to push for legalization in any meaningful way (yet), he has at least seemed to be more pliable in terms of decriminalizing the drug.
That, in essence, would open up the research floodgates. Once the U.S. relaxes its restrictions on medical cannabis, we’ll likely see Big Pharma really put its weight behind finding new medical marijuana treatments.
This would allow marijuana’s medical applications to proliferate and rapidly gain more acceptance.
All this represents a huge opportunity for medical pot stock investors.
Investing early, in advance of the U.S. federal government making any major move toward marijuana legalization, could really work to maximize profits, as a huge surge of capital would no doubt enter the market.
Moving forward, there’s a massive opportunity with medical marijuana stocks.
Medical cannabis could provide effective treatments for people suffering from all manner of mental health issues. And with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on people’s mental health, we’ve never needed effective treatments more than now.
With many studies showing that cannabis can be useful in treating mental health, medical pot stock investors could be the big beneficiaries.