Study: 18% of U.S. Adults Who Are 21 and Older Consider Themselves Cannabis Users

A new study has found that 18% of those in the U.S. who are 21 or older consider themselves cannabis cannabis.

The study, conducted by Kadence International, found that 48% of those who consider themselves cannabis users use cannabis to relieve anxiety, 40% use it as a sleeping aid or as a pain relief agent, and one in five use cannabis as a substitute for prescription medicine.

This research “was conducted among a representative sample of the U.S. general population, ages 21+, to better understand all aspects of the American cannabis consumer”, states a recent press release. “The study found that 1 in 5 adult Americans have used cannabis within the past 12 months, with 32% of them using cannabis daily.”

Cannabis is also changing many attitudes towards alcohol (table two below), states the study. Almost half of adult cannabis users (47%) are lowering their alcohol intake, with over 50% of them feeling cannabis is less harmful to them than alcohol. This attitude is especially prevalent in adults between 21 and 40 years old.

Interestingly, the study has found that the legalization of cannabis is also driving a change in attitudes. 70% of those surveyed stated that if cannabis were legal in the area they lived, they would be likely to try it. Only 4% of Americans refuse to try cannabis.

Table one – Reasons for Cannabis usage

Table two – Cannabis vs alcohol

Miriam Konz, managing director at Kadence International, commented: “While now recreationally legalized in a number of US states, discussing cannabis and its benefits is often done in hushed tones. The study we have conducted tries to demonstrate the role that cannabis has in modern society. We aimed to understand the reasons why people were using it and how often.  Most interestingly, there is no defined and clear specific demographic for cannabis users, it is used across all adult age groups, socio-economic backgrounds, and locations.

“For many, cannabis is increasingly a substitute for both alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs, but what does this mean? This research study is trying to understand the drivers of cannabis use in the United States, and while there is still a stigma attached to usage, most of the adult population is either using cannabis or strongly considering it in the coming year.  Given the anticipated growth in this category, there are implications for both the alc bev and the pharmaceutical industries, which explains their rush to invest and get involved.”

The study found that smoking cannabis is still the most common method of consumption. 83% of adult users smoked cannabis, compared to only 8% ingesting oils.

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