Researchers from the Canadian Government’s Office of Cannabis Science and Surveillance examined patterns in cannabis use during the period 2018, when those aged over 18 were allowed to purchase and use cannabis legally for medical and non-medical purposes, to 2022

Using responses from a national online questionnaire known as the Canadian Cannabis Survey, researchers were able to show that in 2019, the first full year of legalisation, only 37% said they purchased cannabis from legal sources, a figure that increased to 69% in 2022. 

Continuing a trend that began pre-legalisation the data show that the level of cannabis consumption amongst Canadians has increased by roughly 20%: in 2018, 22% of Canadians had used cannabis at least once in the previous 12 months, in 2022 that figure had reached 27%. Daily use, (or almost daily use) nearly doubled from 2018 to 2022, increasing from 5% of Canadians aged over 16 to 7%.

The data also highlights how people’s consumption preferences have changed. At the time of cannabis deregulation, most cannabis was consumed via dried cannabis flower, hashish or extracts such as shatter, or cannabis-containing oils. Since 2018 the use of beverages, edibles and vape pens/cartridges has risen sharply, but the use of flowers, extracts, hash, and oils has decreased. 

“Past 12-month cannabis consumption increased among Canadians from 22 % in 2018 to 27 % in 2022. Similarly, daily/almost daily (DAD) consumption increased from 5 % in 2018 to 7 % in 2022. Consumption of dried flower, hash/kief, and concentrates/extracts (e.g., wax, shatter, budder) has decreased since 2018, whereas consumption of edibles, beverages and vape pens/cartridges increased. Legal purchasing increased from 4 % in 2018 to 69 % in 2022, while accessing cannabis through social and illegal sources decreased over time.” the study shows. 

This study clearly shows the tastes and habits of Canadian cannabis consumers have changed since the prohibition of cannabis was abolished in 2018, despite the public’s growing awareness of the side effects. This data could be used by governments across the world who are still following a path that criminalises those who seek the use of the cannabis plant for medicinal and non-medicinal purposes. 

“More Canadians are reporting cannabis consumption since legalisation and regulation of cannabis for non-medical purposes, continuing a pre-existing trend despite an increase in awareness of the risks of consuming cannabis,” the study said. “Trends in product use indicate a transition from dried flower and concentrates/extracts towards consumption of cannabis foods, drinks and vape pens/cartridges. The legal market is increasingly displacing the illicit cannabis market in Canada.” 

This story first appeared on leafie, view here
Author: Kevin Dinneen

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