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Mental Health Problems Caused By COVID-19 and the Challenges It Presents to Cannabis Retailers

July 09, 2021

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With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading throughout the world it is becoming quite a disruptive force in many people’s lives.

Of course, the most immediate and worrying affect of the spread of COVID-19 is the rising number of those infected by the disease worldwide.  Throughout the world the number of cases of COVID-19 among the populations is rising and so is the death toll.

Aside from the affect that COVID-19 is having on people’s physical health, it is also having a grave effect on the economic and political sectors of almost every country. 

One of the major effects of COVID-19 has been having in many people’s lives is that it has effectively brought what many thought of as “normal life” to a halt. This isn’t just people’s personal lives but their day to day lives in both the social and economic spheres.

In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, many world governments have been imposing restrictions on travel, social and business gatherings, and even in the businesses that are allowed to operate while the pandemic is ongoing.

Despite all these restrictions on people’s movements and activities, COVID-19 is still taking its toll on the physical health of many people. It is also having a negative effect on the economy as well as affecting the political life in the country. 

While COVID-19’s public health effects and the impact that it’s having on the economy and on politics are kind of obvious, we hear about them in the news all the time after all, what is not given that much media attention is another effect that COVID-19 is having and that is the impact it is having on people’s mental health.

COVID-19, mental health, and how cannabis can help

Given how devastatingly fast COVID-19 spreads its causing even more economic and social upheaval than earlier pandemics, such as swine flu, MERS, and SARS. Many countries around the world have been forced to go on lockdown in an effort to curb community transmission.

The need for social distancing has led to many people being isolated from a majority of their social groups and unable to enjoy routine activities that they took for granted. COVID-19 is and its effects are also resulting in a rise in people’s anxiety and stress levels. 

The isolation and disruption from routine that has resulted from social distancing and other measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 , as well as the anxiety and worry that they might feel about catching COVID-19 or having friends or family who might catch COVID-19 are having an impact on people’s mental health. CBD products was administered to mice with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by the cytokine storm during COVID-19 infection, the level of apelin, which helps maintain blood pressure and also reduces inflammation along with ACE-2, also increased thus improving blood and oxygen flow.

All the social and economic insecurities that people are facing during this time is also leading to an increase in feelings of stress and anxiety.

Not only do they have to worry about their physical health and the health of those around them, they also have to worry about the effect of COVID-19 on the economy, specifically the rising rates of unemployment and the number of businesses that are forced to close down temporarily or even permanently.

Given the rise in people’s stress and anxiety levels, it’s probably not that surprising that there has been an upsurge in the number of cannabis consumers. More and more people are looking for natural ways to curb these feelings of distress.

COVID-19 and the Cannabis Consumer Habits

As anxiety over COVID-19 is prompting more and more people to look into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for their mental health, the cannabis industry is seeing an increase in both interest and demand for their products.

Many cannabis retailers have been experiencing what’s called the “lipstick effect”. This is a pattern of consumer behavior where, despite the fact that they might be tightening their belt elsewhere, people still will often splurge on “small” personal items such as lipstick.

The “lipstick effect” in the cannabis industry is resulting in consumers buying a little more product then they might have before the pandemic. People are “bulk-buying” cannabis and certain other products that are mostly seen as personal indulgences to help see them through the uncertainties of the pandemic.

Retailers are also seeing an uptick of people who are looking to “try” cannabis for their anxiety. In fact, some retailers are encouraging this and looking at it as a sort of “public service.” Many shops are now arranging free giveaways of CBD oils where consumers can get CBD rolls or tinctures to help relieve some of the stress that they are feeling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. KandyPens has always been a brand about the elevated consumption of wax concentrates and other extracts. They have released multiple devices, mostly portable vaporizers like dab pens, oil pens, and box mods that offer a superior build and overall impeccable quality.

Problems posed by COVID-19 to cannabis retailers

There are some logistical problems caused by the amount of people who now want to sample cannabis for COVID-19 related anxiety. 

In most States, only certain businesses that are considered to be providing a vital service or distributing an essential good are allowed to operate at full capacity.

In many states across the United State, cannabis dispensaries and processors have been recognized as vital and essential businesses. They are thus allowed to operate and continue to dispense cannabis to consumers who need it.

However, as with most businesses, cannabis retailers need to adhere to some rules about social distancing and limit the contact that their employees have with their customers. 

Many are now trying to arrange it so that the products can be picked up at the store via a drive through system or via curbside pickup to minimize contact and limit the number of people who are at the store.

One major worry voiced by cannabis retailers, however, is how they can continue to provide both their old and new customers with the needed product.

As cannabis is still a federally restricted item, supply is often delayed or limited, and this will only get worse the longer the pandemic lasts and affects the supply chain. 

If, however, there is a relaxation of the rules around the allowed supply of medical cannabis, it would be easier for suppliers to stock a larger supply that they can then distribute to a wider amount of patients.