A survey, released this week by the cannabis wellness company EO Care, found that “18 percent of respondents have used cannabis for health reasons in the past year, 19 percent have used cannabis for recreational reasons, and 14 percent have used it for both.”
It also revealed that the “top three reasons for their cannabis use are anxiety, pain and sleep. 88 percent of medical cannabis users say it reduced their use of prescription drugs, alcohol, or both,” and that “51 percent said they would be likely/very likely to use cannabis if it were offered by their health plan.”
But perhaps most notable was the finding that “65 percent of respondents said they would feel more comfortable using cannabis if it were screened and dosed by a clinician.”
Sean Collins, co-founder and CEO of EO Care, said that the survey highlights the need for readily available medical advice on marijuana treatment.
“Finding clinical guidance for medicinal cannabis is difficult because most doctors lack the knowledge and retail dispensaries are not equipped to provide medical advice,” Collins said in a press release. “As a result we have tens of millions of Americans using cannabis for health reasons without guidance on specific product recommendations, dosage amounts, possible drug interactions, or consideration of their health history and other potential health risks. Given that sales of cannabis for health reasons is far higher than most prescription drugs, this is a highly concerning situation for healthcare generally.”
EO Care said that the survey was based on responses of 1,027 Americans who are “employed at least part-time and were from US states where cannabis is legal for medical and/or recreational use.”
“94 percent of Americans live in a state where cannabis is legal in some form,” added Collins. “And we know a large percentage of Americans have used cannabis in the past year, so this is definitely impacting employees and health outcomes. With the right medicinal cannabis guidance employers have an opportunity to help their employees, improve health outcomes and be progressive leaders in offering this important benefit that employees will come to expect.”
Thirty-eight states have legalized some form of medical cannabis treatment, and polls routinely show that broad swaths of the country are in favor of making it legally available.
That trend holds true even in states where cannabis remains illegal. A poll released earlier this year found that 76% of adults in South Carolina are in favor of legal medical cannabis. Both recreational and medical marijuana are illegal in the state.
Last year, a survey from the Pew Research Center showed that an “overwhelming share of U.S. adults (88%) say either that marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use by adults (59%) or that it should be legal for medical use only (30%).”
“With a growing number of states authorizing the use of marijuana, the public continues to broadly favor legalization of the drug for medical and recreational purposes…Over the long term, there has been a steep rise in public support for marijuana legalization, as measured by a separate Gallup survey question that asks whether the use of marijuana should be made legal – without specifying whether it would be legalized for recreational or medical use. This year, 68% of adults say marijuana should be legal, matching the record-high support for legalization Gallup found in 2021,” Pew wrote in its analysis.
“There continue to be sizable age and partisan differences in Americans’ views about marijuana. While very small shares of adults of any age are completely opposed to the legalization of the drug, older adults are far less likely than younger ones to favor legalizing it for recreational purposes.”
The survey from EO Care, which was released on Tuesday, also found that “56 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to take a job at a company whose health plan offered cannabis care,” and that “44 percent would reconsider applying for a job at a company that tested for prior use of cannabis use or prohibited cannabis outside of the workplace.”
EO Care bills itself as “the first clinically guided cannabis health and wellness solution for employers,” saying that its “digital health service gives HR and benefits leaders the necessary tools to help employees determine if cannabis should be part of their healthcare journey or not by providing clinical education and personalized care guidance – including cannabis overuse, which is increasingly common given the lack of medical guidance.”
“Built on data from leading cannabis clinicians and researchers, EO Care provides clinician guidance and proprietary data models to help employers tackle unguided cannabis use and give employees an effective option for relief in cancer treatment, pain management, opioid replacement, anxiety, and sleep management. The company is led by a team of experts in CX healthcare, biotech and data intelligence,” this week’s press release read.