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Endometriosis patients consume more cannabis during the pandemic – study

Increased stress and a lack of access to normal medical care, were the main reasons for consumption.



More than half of endometriosis patients increased their cannabis consumption during the pandemic, finds a new study.

A new study, published by researchers in Australia, has explored the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on cannabis consumption in endometriosis patients. 

Over 1,600 patients were surveyed from 46 different countries, with an average age of 30.

More than half (51 per cent) reported consuming cannabis in the past three months, with 55 per cent of those using it for symptom management only.  

Out of 776 patients who were able to compare their use pre and post-pandemic, 57 per cent of respondents. have increased their cannabis consumption since the outbreak of Covid-19.

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Increased stress and anxiety around Covid-19, and a lack of access to normal medical care, including cancelled or delayed appointments, surgeries, and restricted access to regular medications, were cited as the most common reasons for consumption. 

The paper states: “Reduced access to regular health care and indefinitely delayed surgical treatment resulted in emotional distress and inconsistent endometriosis treatments, leading to increased numbers of women turning to self-management as a coping strategy.”

In addition, just under a quarter of respondents changed their mode of consumption, with a reduction in inhaled forms and an increase in consumption of edibles or oil.

Endometriosis affects one in 10 women worldwide, with many experiencing difficulties in managing  their symptoms, which can include abdominal pain, pain during and after sex, fatigue, nausea and gastrointestinal problems.

Many of those involved in the study also reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The study was conducted by a team at the NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University. In 2019, the same researchers published findings which revealed more than three quarters of Australian women with endometriosis are turning to self-management strategies, with cannabis being ranked as the most effective treatment. 

This latest paper builds on these findings to conclude that cannabis consumption is common among endometriosis patients.

The authors stated: “Our study found that cannabis consumption, especially for symptom relief, was relatively common among those with endometriosis, with some people starting their consumption of cannabis due to health care restrictions that occurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Over half of those who already consumed cannabis increased their usage during the pandemic, but cannabis expenditure did not show the same increase. Difficulties accessing cannabis was the most common reason for lack of current cannabis consumption in those who had previously consumed it. Legal access was associated both with a greater likelihood of using cannabis and greater disclosure to health care professionals.”

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Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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