Concern for HR? | More and more workers are turning to cannabis to treat work injuries

More and more workers are turning to cannabis to treat work injuries

A growing trend has emerged among U.S. workers seeking alternative solutions to manage work-related injuries, and it comes in the form of cannabis.

A study published by BMJ Open Journals reveals that an astonishing 14% of workers in the United States have turned to cannabis as a means to address their work-related ailments.

One significant factor in the rise in cannabis use for work-related injuries is the increased awareness and acceptance of medical cannabis in the United States. With more states legalizing medical and even recreational use of cannabis, there has been a shifting perception of the plant from being strictly recreational to a potential therapeutic option.

The study also argues that the opioid epidemic that plagued the nation in the past has made workers hesitant to turn to traditional painkillers for relief. The desire to avoid the addictive properties of opioids, the data claims, has led many to explore cannabis as a safer alternative for managing pain and discomfort.

From an employer's perspective, businesses need to navigate the legal complexities surrounding cannabis use, particularly in safety-sensitive industries and workplaces governed by federal regulations.

Workplace safety is a primary concern that requires careful consideration.

While cannabis may provide relief for some, it could impair cognitive functions and motor skills, potentially leading to workplace accidents in certain roles. Employers must tread carefully and adopt clear policies that strike a balance between accommodating employees' medical needs and ensuring a safe work environment for everyone.

The legal landscape surrounding cannabis in the workplace is complex and varies from state to state. Employers must be aware of the laws in their jurisdiction regarding drug testing, accommodations for medical cannabis use, and the protection of employees' rights.

Whilst different organisations will react differently to cases in which workers may be consuming cannabis as a form of pain relief, the general consensus among those captured in the study is that such situations could potentially cause more damage than good, if not treated with extreme caution.

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