Smoking Marijuana Remains Most Popular Consumption Method By Far, Finds Survey

Smoking Marijuana Remains Most Popular Consumption Method By Far, Finds Survey

Among those who use marijuana on a regular basis, smoking remains their top consumption method of choice. This is according to a new study conducted by the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence: It was also published by the National Institute of Health.

For the study researchers examined data from over 6,100 adults in twelve states, all who use marijuana. Of these, 91% say that they regularly smoke marijuana: 59% state that smoking “was their only mode of marijuana use.”

The study found that just 25% have ever used a marijuana edible, and only 20% have ever vaporized marijuana. This may come as quite a surprise to some, given this means that three fourths of marijuana consumers have literally never had an edible, and four fifths have never used a vaporizer.

According to researchers 5% reported using marijuana edibles exclusively (as in they don’t also smoke, vape, etc.), and 2% vape exclusively.

The study is titled Modes or marijuana use: Smoking, vaping, eating, and dabbing – Results from the 2016 BRFSS in 12 states.

The study’s full abstract can be found below:


The prevalence of modes of marijuana use (e.g., smoked, vaped, eaten, dabbed, etc.), and of multi-modal use has not been assessed across multiple states, and can inform marijuana prevention and education work, given that certain modes of use are associated with specific public health risks. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of different modalities of reported marijuana use among adults in 12 states.


Data came from 6174 adult marijuana users age 18 and older who responded to questions about past month and mode of marijuana use on the 2016 BRFSS surveys in 12 states with varied state marijuana policies. We used weighted frequencies for descriptive analyses, and logistic regression to identify correlates of multi-modal use.


The prevalence of past month (current) marijuana use among adults in these states was 9.1 % (males = 12.0 %, females= 6.3 %). Among current marijuana users, 33.7 % reported multiple methods of marijuana use, 90.1 % reported any marijuana smoking (e.g., joints, blunts, bongs, bowls), 58.3 % reported only smoking (no other modes of consumption), 24.5 % reported any edible use, 4.5 % reported using only edibles, 19.4 % reported any marijuana vaping, 2.1 % reported only vaping, 14.5 % reported any dabbing (flash vaporization/inhalation of highly concentrated marijuana), and 0.4 % reported only dabbing. Correlates of multimodal use are also examined.


Multi-modal use of marijuana is common, and use of non-smoked marijuana (edibles, vaping, dabbing) often occurs in conjunction with other modes of marijuana use. Ongoing surveillance of marijuana modes of use and multi-modal use is warranted to inform public education and prevention.

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