Marijuana continues to become normalized for both recreational and medical usage within the U.S., along with public acceptance of the drug. Just in time for the annual day celebrating the world’s most popular herb (4/20), here’s a look at the top cannabis trends derived from the CivicScience InsightStore.
Cannabis Consumption Habits Hold Steady
Overall cannabis use hasn’t grown noticeably over the course of 2022 and into 2023, but it hasn’t dipped either. Currently, 39% of U.S. adults say they use cannabis (excluding those who prefer not to answer). The majority of cannabis users are partaking at least monthly. In fact, reported daily usage has typically averaged higher in the last 12 months than in late 2021/early 2022. As of this year, 15% of U.S. adults say they use cannabis daily.
For the record, cannabis is incredibly popular among young adults today. Nearly 60% of Gen Z adults (18-24) say they use it at least monthly. They’re followed by 55% of young Millennials (25-34), who also average as the biggest daily users.
The under-35 crowd far outpaces older adults in regular usage, by miles. The term ‘cannabis’ broadly includes all cannabinoid products, from marijuana to non-psychoactive CBD oil. Younger adults may generally feel less of a stigma about using marijuana and are more adopting of CBD products than older adults.
Edibles Up, Vaping Down
Traditional smoking methods continue to remain the most popular way to use cannabis. But edibles have consistently grown in popularity, becoming more popular than vape pens after Q1 2023. Vaping, on the other hand, has been trending downward, falling from 28% in late 2021 to 25% of cannabis users today. This could be related to growing concern over recent reports on negative health effects of vaping and/or highly potent THC levels in some cannabis oils.
Even so, vaping remains the most popular method among the youngest adults – 36% of Gen Z users say they are most likely to vape cannabis.
Support for Regulation Reaches a High Point
Marijuana possession laws have undergone significant change over the past decade. Many states now allow some legal level of recreational and medical use. Last year, President Biden passed a pardon of conviction for simple possession at the federal level, a move supported by the majority of Americans.
Overall support for the legalization and regulation of marijuana is strong and only looks to grow stronger. As of April, 64% of U.S. adults are in favor of legalization/regulation, the highest back-to-back monthly average seen in all of 2022. Just 25% of the adult population is not in favor of legalizing marijuana.
Support is highest in the U.S. Midwest and West (65% ‘in favor’ / 24% ‘against’), and lowest in the Northeast (60% ‘in favor’ / 29% ‘against’).
Medical Marijuana – Used by 1-in-10 U.S. Households, With Room to Grow
Marijuana for medical use has gained in both legality and awareness in the past few years. However, as a controlled type of drug that requires an active license to purchase, it is still not widely adopted. Current data show that among individuals or households who say they have access to medical marijuana, 11% have an active medical marijuana card. Interest is higher than current ownership, as 12% say they or someone in their household plan to get a card. More than three-quarters (78%) aren’t interested in using medical marijuana.
Overall, cannabis use is strong and looks to stay that way among Americans. While there are shifting trends in how people choose to use cannabis, they don’t appear to be detracting from the overall share of users. The majority of U.S. adults favor legalization and regulation, even a high percentage of non-users, and more people are looking favorably on marijuana for medical use.
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