Adults 18-34 years old use cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabis to treat chronic pain at two times the rate of people who are 45 or older, according to a new survey by the Harris Poll on behalf of the Samueli Foundation.
The survey shows that those ages 18-34 years are more likely to experience chronic pain, at 65%, compared to those age 35 and older, at 52%, with 73% of younger individuals saying they experience pain every day.
More than one in five young adults who experience chronic pain (22%) say they use cannabis and/or CBD oil for pain, and they are twice as likely to do so compared to those ages 45-plus (11%).
Young adults with chronic pain most commonly experience it in their back (32%), neck and knees (20% each). And nearly three in 10 young adults with chronic pain (29%) say they are talking to their doctors more often about their pain since the pandemic began, compared to just 15% of those age 45 and older.
Seventy-eight percent of adults with chronic pain use non-drug treatments, while 70% use pharmacological treatments. The most common approaches are over-the-counter pain relievers (53%), followed by exercise (43%), heat/ice (34%), healthy eating (26%), cannabis/CBD (16%), physical therapy (15%), massage therapy (15%) and yoga (14%).
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, two-thirds of those with chronic pain (66%) say they have changed their pain management. Some people are now using over-the-counter medications (37%), exercising (35%), and healthy eating (25%) to manage their pain more often than they did before the pandemic.