The Gist: US Adults are interested in a variety of methods to use marijuana, signaling huge growth potential for many subsets of the cannabis industry. People’s intended means of consumption also reflect lifestyle habits and personal preferences.

As marijuana legislation continues to roll out, so too should the way businesses treat the substance. From medical to legal, there are nearly as many ways to imbibe cannabis as there is proposed legislation around it. Rather than focus on legalization, we took a look at how people would consume marijuana, if given a variety of options.

Recent CivicScience polling data shows that 47% of adults would choose traditional smoking methods if they were to use marijuana, and 31% would use edibles.

Even with a bunch of tastier and high-tech options on the market, most people still prefer weed the old-fashioned way. But, new techniques are showing promise, signaling they could take over the market in the future.


Surprisingly, those most interested in ingesting edibles are not “foodies.” However, they’re the most environmentally conscious of the bunch. They’re more likely to adjust their lifestyles to help the environment, as well as to be concerned about environmental issues.

It makes sense, considering smoke or vaporizers can harm air quality. Why not just eat it? In addition, they’re less likely to be cigarette smokers. For someone who might’ve never smoked, or just doesn’t smoke anymore, a marijuana edible is a relatively low barrier to entry.

Not surprisingly, this group is more likely to try new foods, psychedelic or otherwise, before other people do. With 38% interested in this means of consumption, edibles are still a largely untapped resource when it comes to marijuana sales and use.  


Vaporizers, deemed by some a nuisance as well as a legal gray area in public places, signal a new era for marijuana consumption. Discreet and safer with each new generation, it’s no surprise that people interested in using vaporizers are techies.

This group is more likely to tell others about new technology brands, as well as own a smartwatch. They’re interested in home automation products and wireless speaker systems. Overall, they’re more likely to try things before other people do.

While “vapes” tend to get a bad rap, it looks like consumer interest in them, at least interest in using them to consume marijuana, is because it’s an innovative tech product. Those most interested in using vaporizers are between the ages of 18-34, making them an engaged segment of consumers. As legalization progresses, it will be interesting to see the technology develop and the adoption curve play out.

Traditional Smoking

It shouldn’t be surprising that people who prefer to smoke marijuana in a pipe or joint are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes

Individuals who prefer traditional smoking methods when using marijuana also favor socially conscious businesses.

Roll it Up…

Apparently, the tendencies of each preferred method of marijuana consumption reflect the habits of the user. When it comes to edibles, this group is likely to try new foods before others. Vape users are more likely to engage with technology trends. Traditional smokers are likely to be cigarette smokers already.

While the most popular method for marijuana is still traditional smoking methods, it’s by a small margin. The edible market has room to grow, and we’ve already seen the boom in vaporizers. As these verticals grow, it’s likely consumers’ interest in them will as well.

Some estimate the legal marijuana market will triple between 2017 and 2021 to over $17 billion. An industry leader in medical marijuana, GW Pharmaceuticals, has seen a 64% growth in its stock price this year alone. Regardless of by which means they are interested in imbibing, it’s clear the US adult population is ready and interested in a varied marijuana market.