Canadians’ perception of cannabis has changed little in 2021

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Canadians have roughly the same opinion on most issues related to cannabis, its use and legalization as they do in 2020, according to Canada’s latest annual report.

The “Cannabis Survey in Canada 2021” is the fifth of its kind, the first having been published at the end of 2017. The survey asks a sample of Canadians a number of questions about cannabis, such as their knowledge and skills. their views on cannabis use and cannabis laws, knowledge of legal sources, cannabis and driving, cannabis and pregnancy, home use and cultivation of cannabis, and cannabis for purposes medical among many other subjects.

Stable acceptability

Canadians consider cannabis use to be the second lowest perceived risk, behind alcohol, but a healthier choice than smoking or nicotine. The occasional use of cannabis is also considered to be more socially acceptable than the regular consumption of alcohol. Smoking and eating cannabis is considered slightly more socially acceptable than vape cannabis. Tobacco and e-cigarettes have the lowest level of social acceptability among these three broad categories.

Acceptability of cannabis use

Social acceptability of the use of various products, among all Canadians, 2021

Overall, 89% of respondents believe that cannabis use can be addictive. The majority of people (93%) who reported using cannabis in the past 12 months believe cannabis can be addictive. A majority (88%) of those who have not used cannabis also believe that cannabis can be addictive.

A slight decrease in consumption

25% of Canadians say they have tried cannabis in the past 12 months, down slightly from 27% in 2020. Men were once again more likely to use cannabis than women, but the consumption by men declined slightly, as did consumption by Canadians aged 16 to 24.

Cannabis use by ageCannabis use by age

Cannabis use in the past 12 months, by sex and age group, 2020 to 2021

14% of Canadians aged 16 and over also reported having used cannabis for medical purposes, but only 22% said they had done so with the permission of a health care professional.

People born in Canada are about twice as likely to use cannabis as those who immigrated to Canada, and use is about twice as high among people who identify as gay, bisexual, or an “other sex” than among those who identify as heterosexual.

Those enrolled in school are more likely (35%) to report consuming than those who do not report being enrolled in school (25%). People who report having worked at a job or business in the past week or having taken a vacation are slightly more likely to use cannabis than those who do not work at a job or business (28% vs. 21%).

Canadians with a graduate degree are less likely to use cannabis than those without, 17% versus 24%.

Among those who reported consuming more cannabis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians under the age of 25 reported a larger increase in their use.

25% of people 25 and over reported using more cannabis, compared to 46% of people 16 to 19 and 40% of people 20 to 24. At the same time, 21% of people aged 25 and over reported using less cannabis, compared to 27% of people aged 16 to 19 and 25% of people aged 20 to 24.

Once again, most Canadians who use cannabis report using it less than one day per month, or 33% of users, while 19% report using it daily. 27% said they used it one to six days a week.

Most cannabis users (72%) reported being stoned or high for one to four hours in a day of use, while 15% reported being stoned for five or more hours per day when using.

All of these figures are the same or similar to those for 2020.

A later experiment

The age of initiation to cannabis has also continued to increase slightly since legalization. In a 2017 survey, the average age of first introduction to cannabis was 18.6 years. In 2020 it was 20 years old and in 2021 it was 20.4 years old.

Cannabis is also legal in different provinces at different ages, either 18, 19 or 21 years old.

Smoking remains the most common form of consumption (74%), although this is down from 79% in 2020, while vaping has increased from 24% in 2020 to 28% in 2021. edibles of cannabis was the second most popular form of use, at 54%. Those who reported drinking cannabis doubled from 2020, from 7% to 15%. 22% said they used cannabis oil or capsules, a new figure in 2021.

Among those who vape cannabis, vaporization of cannabis extracts increased from 60% to 68%, that of dried cannabis flower decreased from 65% to 54%.

Men were slightly more likely than women to use cannabis flower or concentrates, while women were slightly more likely to use edibles and topicals.

The legal market supplants the illegal

58% of Canadians who reported using cannabis said they would be more willing to disclose publicly if they used it, up from 51% in 2020.

Sources of cannabis supplySources of cannabis supply

Typical sources of supply in the past 12 months for people who used cannabis in the past 12 months, 2020 to 2021

53% said they made a purchase from a legal store, an increase from 41% in 2020. People were less likely to get cannabis from a friend or legal source online, or from a store or illegal online source or “dealer”.

Of those who reported using cannabis, 43% said they only obtained their supplies from the legal market, an increase from 37% in 2020. 63% said they never used an illicit source, compared to 55% in 2020.

A higher percentage (43%) indicated that they still source from a legal / licensed source in 2021 than in 2020 (37%). There was also a higher percentage (63%) indicating that they never source from an illegal / unauthorized source in 2021 compared to 2020 (55%).

Of those who buy from the illicit market, most (59%) say they get it from someone they know, while 20% say they get it from an illicit online store. 20% also state that they obtain cannabis from a “dealer”. Only 11% say they get it from an unauthorized retail store, although it is possible that this figure is higher because some consumers feel that the illicit stores are in fact legally operated.

The average consumer spends CA $ 40-100 per month on cannabis.

Among consumers who reported using cannabis for medical purposes, those who reported obtaining it from legal stores increased from 44% in 2020 to 53% in 2021, and those who obtained it from a online legal source increased from 23% to 38%.

In addition, 21% obtained their supplies from an approved producer through the medical system. 13% said they grow it or have it grown for them under a designated production license, as in 2020.

Of those who have obtained cannabis directly from a licensed producer, 77% say they intend to continue to do so even if non-medical cannabis stores are available.

The full study is available on the Health Canada website.

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