Since Canada legalized cannabis for adults in 2018, the government has conducted an annual survey to examine the latest market and consumption trends in order to tailor its policy to consumer needs. Recently, it released the results of the latest survey, and they point to cannabis legalization being a massive success. Here are the main findings from the Canadian Cannabis Survey 2022.
Since Canada legalized adult-use cannabis in 2018, the government has conducted an annual survey to examine the latest market and consumption trends in order to align its policies with consumer needs. Here are the main findings from the Canadian Cannabis Survey 2022.
Data collected by the government in 2022 in an anonymous survey of more than 10,000 people shows that cannabis users’ preferences have not changed significantly and that cannabis legalization is effectively eradicating the black market.
Cannabis use has remained relatively stable over the past 12 months. The age group between 20 and 24 is the most numerous among all demographic groups to have used cannabis in the past 12 months (about 50%), while cannabis use in the general population increased slightly from 25% in 2021 to 27% in 2022.
The rate of cannabis use among young people aged 16-19 in the past 12 months returned to pre-legalization levels in 2021 and 2022 after a slight increase between 2018 and 2020.
Legal Cannabis Stores Eliminate Black Market
Legal cannabis stores have become the most common source of cannabis purchases among those who used cannabis in the past 12 months (61%), up from 53% in 2021. Only 2% of respondents reported purchasing cannabis products from an illegal website, 1% from an illegal store, and 1% from a dealer.
In addition, those who had used cannabis in the past 12 months reported spending about $65 Canadian on legal cannabis products.
Methods of Consumption
In the past 12 months, the most common method of cannabis consumption among Canadians was smoking (70%), followed by food (52%) and vaporization using a vaporizer or vape pen (31%).
Regarding THC and CBD Concentrations in Cannabis Products:
- 31% of respondents reported using products with higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD
- 13% with higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC
- 12% with equal levels of THC and CBD
- 8% reported using products containing only THC
- 2% reported using products containing only CBD
- 17% said they did not know the relative levels of THC and CBD in the products they use.
Harm Reduction and Education
Overall, the survey results indicate that cannabis use brings more benefits than harms to consumers. The majority of people (96%) who had used cannabis more than once in their lives never felt the need to ask for professional help to stop using cannabis, and only 3% reported receiving professional help.
Since one of the main goals of the survey is to monitor government campaigns to raise awareness of the risks of cannabis consumption among Canadians, respondents were asked what kind of information had reached them.
A total of 29% of Canadians reported seeing health warnings on cannabis products or on the Health Canada website, while 19% were unsure if they had seen them.
In the past 12 months, 62% of cannabis users reported seeing the warnings. Of those, 55% said the warnings increased their knowledge of the possible harms associated with cannabis use. Among those who had not seen the warnings, 70% thought they knew enough about the possible harms associated with cannabis use.
Cannabis Advertising in Canada
For the first time, the survey also showed consumer contact with cannabis-related advertisements or promotions.
- 51% of respondents, who were able to select multiple response options, did not see any advertisements or promotions related to cannabis products
- 24% saw ads outside stores selling cannabis
- 14% saw ads on social media
- 13% on websites or in pharmacies
- 10% on television, radio, or public posters and billboards.
Cannabis Use vs. COVID-19
The Canadian Cannabis Survey also asked people who used cannabis in the past 12 months whether their consumption patterns had changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of those surveyed, 53% said they used the same amount of cannabis, while 24% reported an increase in use and 23% reported a decrease.
The change in cannabis use seemed more common among younger age groups, with 57% of those aged 25 or older using the same amount of cannabis, compared to 21% of those aged 25 or older who reported using more cannabis due to COVID-19.
The five most common reasons for increased cannabis use were:
- Stress (59%)
- Anxiety (55%)
- Boredom (51%)
- Loneliness (33%)
- Lack of a regular daily schedule (31%).
Data for the Canadian Cannabis Survey 2022 was collected from April to June. In September, the Canadian government announced a review of the recreational cannabis legalization policy implemented four years ago to assess its impact on various groups, including youth and minority populations, and to examine the economic and illegal market effects.
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