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Working 9 to 5: US study reveals 15% of remote workers used cannabis on the job

Employees said it reduced stress and boosted productivity, could this mean policy changes are needed?



Remote working: A table with a laptop and a plant on it with books in the background

Employees said it reduced stress and boosted productivity

A US study has revealed that 15 percent of remote workers used cannabis at work during the pandemic.

According to the findings, from online cannabis resource, American Marijuana, workers said it reduced stress and boosted productivity.

It may have felt like a temporary measure when we moved to working from home last year. However, Covid may have changed the way we work for good.

Approximately 5.6 million people worked mainly from home in the UK in 2020, an increase of around 1.69 million when compared with 1998.

As a result, our meetings have gone virtual and dress codes have relaxed in the comfort of our own homes. But what has this meant for cannabis consumption, particularly while workers were feeling the effects of lockdown, Covid-panic and uncertainty?

The study

A US study interviewed 1001 employees about their work habits and views on substance use in the virtual workplace.

After analysing the results, it revealed that the age groups 20-49 were the largest cannabis consumers. In the age group of 20-29, 41.3 percent of remote workers used cannabis compared to 36.6 percent in their 30s.

In the older age groups, 36.6 percent of workers aged 40 to 49 and 29.8 percent of workers over 50 recorded cannabis use.

The survey allowed workers to record their reasons for using cannabis, with 60 percent stating it relieved stress. An equal amount of participants said it increased creativity and productivity at 54.4 percent.

Virtual workers were also asked how they felt about their colleague’s cannabis use while working. More than a third (37.2 percent) said they suspected that their co-workers use cannabis.

The data indicated that 20.5 percent of respondents were unsure about their company policy.

Read more: Cancard launches UK’s largest medical cannabis patient survey

Implications for remote workers

As the new working from home culture shows no signs of changing, the survey highlights that a change in policy is needed. It comes as companies are starting to implement changes to drug testing.

Amazon recently announced they will no longer test for THC.

On their company blog, they stated: “And because we know that this issue is bigger than Amazon, our public policy team will be actively supporting The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act)—federal legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records, and invest in impacted communities. We hope that other employers will join us and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law.”

Quest Diagnostics in the US reported that of seven million drug tests conducted in 2020, 2.7 were positive. This is an increase of 2 per cent since 2016.

Read more: Irish doctors may shun Medical Cannabis Access Programme


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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