These days, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t using some type of cannabis product – either recreationally, therapeutically, or both… but have you ever wondered how everyone seems able to afford it?
Although many industries are struggling amid the ongoing pandemic, 2020 has been a record year for cannabis with prices and demand both at an all-time high. Everything from smokables to edibles, THC and CBD, dispensary and mail-order – everywhere you look there is a trending cannabis-based product.
What’s also holding firm, and increasing in many markets, is the prices for all the aforementioned items. In addition to cannabis being portrayed more favorably by the mainstream media, COVID-driven demand over the last year coupled with bottlenecks in supply has caused a surge in prices. And according to the U.S. Cannabis Spot Index Report, the average wholesale price per pound has reached its highest point in three years.
So, again that begs the question, how does it seem that everyone can afford these products so easily; considering high quality comes with an equally high price tag, and these products aren’t covered by insurance. We know they’re effective and safe, but are cannabis products an affordable alternative to prescription medication?
Benefits of medical cannabis
I believe this is an important staring point, because it’s the therapeutic aspect of cannabis that’s really behind this burgeoning demand. It has been used recreationally for decades, but it wasn’t until word got out about the safety profile and medical benefits that cannabis products really saw a surge in popularity.
In the United States, the most common use for medical cannabis is pain management. Although it isn’t really strong enough for very severe pain, post-surgical for example, it’s highly effective in controlling various forms of chronic pain that effects millions of Americans. Cannabis is frequently endorsed as a safer alternative to opiate medication, which are dangerously addictive and responsible for an alarming number of overdose deaths in the states.
Cannabis can also replace over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication like Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil, and Ibuprofen, all of which are known to cause long-term damage to the kidneys and liver, and can lead to chronic health conditions including GERD, high blood pressure, and ulcers. In this vein, cannabis is also used to ease nerve pain, such as the pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and lupus.
Published: January 11, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News