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27% of Canadians Use Cannabis

Health Canada has released the results of its 2020 Canadian Cannabis Survey. The survey is designed to provide a look into Canadians’ knowledge, feelings, and behaviours towards cannabis use. In June 2020, Health Canada polled over 11,000 people across the country ages 16 and up, asking them questions about their cannabis use, which products they use, and where they buy them, as well as what they know and how they feel about cannabis.

Who is Using Cannabis?

More people than ever are dipping their toes in green waters. According to the survey, 27% of Canadians reported having used cannabis in the last 12 months, up from 25% in 2019. The majority of these users continue to be between the ages of 15 and 24, which is nearly double the amount of users 25 and over.

Of those, 18% were daily users, and 54% reported using cannabis fewer than three days per month. According to the data, the average Canadian cannabis user is a male (29%) who identifies as either bisexual (55%), or homosexual (43%), in fair physical health (31%), who was likely born in Canada (31%), and is not currently a student (26%). He will generally spend around three to four hours per day enjoying cannabis products (36%), consuming around 1.1 grams on average, or 1.2 servings of edibles. More working folks are indulging in cannabis this year as well, with 29% of people who work at a job or business reporting cannabis use, however, they are less likely to disclose whether they use it or not (51%).

Social Acceptance

Despite this, cannabis is becoming more socially acceptable. The most socially acceptable product to use continues to be alcohol, however, cannabis is rising in the ranks. According to the survey, it’s more socially acceptable to eat or smoke cannabis, rather than vape it, but it’s still more acceptable than vaping nicotine.

What Products are They Using and From Where?

Some good news from Health Canada’s report is that 54% of Canadians reported getting their cannabis from a legal source, whether it was in a storefront (41%) or online (13%). If they purchased illegally, it was likely from their buddy (58%) or online (22%) and purchased because of the price (29%) or quality (13%).

Wherever they purchased their products, it was likely dried flower. Smoking remains the most common method of consuming cannabis with 79% of respondents saying it’s their preferred method. This number is down from 84% in 2019, as the preference for ingesting cannabis rises from 46% to 52%. In general, males prefer using flower (79%), more than females (67%), who seem more interested in consuming edibles (51% versus 47% for males). Even when it comes to vaping, 65% of consumers prefer to vape dried flower over extracts (60%), with 72% preferring to do so using a non-disposable device.

Around 29% indicated that they would rather have a product with higher THC and lower CBD. They also reported spending an average of $67 per month on cannabis, or $10.48 per gram, at most, for dried flower.

As we head into the new year and cannabis use continues to become more normalized, it will be interesting to watch as attitudes and consumer habits change.