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Comparison of COVID-19 Preventative Social Behaviors Among Cannabis Users and Non-Cannabis Users: Preliminary Results from the COVID-19 Cannabis Health Study

Bria-Necole Diggs
University of Miami

Co-Authors: Ranya Marrakchi El Fellah1, Jessica Y. Islam2, Camacho-Rivera3, Sarah E. Messiah4, Johis Ortega1, Denise C. Vidot1
1University of Miami 2Moffitt Cancer Center 3SUNY Downstate 4University of Texas

Preventative social behaviors like physical distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding crowds are all documented ways in which a person can reduce their risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the preventative social behaviors between cannabis users and non-cannabis users throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by examining changes in their social behavior reported among respondents to the COVID-19 Cannabis Health Study.

An online survey was distributed March 2020 when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic until March 2023. Subsamples of cannabis and non-cannabis adult users were generated for analyses. The COVID-19 Cannabis Health Questionnaire was used to collect self-report quantitative data on social behaviors in their daily life such as gathering attendance and personal protective equipment use. Prevalence estimates and chi-square analyses were conducted using SAS Analytics.

Of the overall analysis sample(N=2816), 2,660 reported cannabis use within the past year. Of the cannabis users, the majority were males (n=1, 383) and Non-Hispanic White (n=1962). Majority of cannabis users completed some college (32.76%), while 34.84% of non-users completed a Bachelor’s degree. Of the social behavior measures captured, a significant difference was found in the prevalence of self-quarantining (p=0.0014), working from home (p=0.0016), not working before COVID-19 (p=0.0012), following media coverage (p=0.0035), and COVID-19 having “very much” impact on their daily life (p=0.0412) when comparing cannabis users (n=1076) to non-users (n=76).

Our findings suggest that there was a difference in  COVID-19 social behaviors among cannabis users compared to nonusers during the pandemic. With more non-users having a higher level of education, it is also important for future researchers to explore how education level may have shaped social behaviors through the COVID-19 pandemic for cannabis users.

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