While the frequency of Canadians reporting daily or almost daily cannabis use remained virtually unchanged from 2020 to 2021, the percentage who reported used cannabis at all in the previous 12 months decreased slightly, according to a federal survey.
According to the results of Health Canada’s 2021 Canadian Cannabis Survey, the fifth undertaken since 2017, just 26 per cent of Canadians aged 16 and older reported daily or almost daily cannabis use, compared to 25 per cent in 2020.
And respondents aged 16 years and older who reported using cannabis at all in the previous 12 months decreased to 25 per cent in 2021, from 27 per cent in 2020, the government announced.
The 2021 survey results are based on online answers from more than 10,000 respondents aged 16 and older from each province and territory. Survey results will be used to evaluate the impact of the Cannabis Act, to inform policy and program development, and to advance effective public education and awareness activities, the government says.
While seven in ten Canadians feel they have access to trustworthy information to make informed decisions about their cannabis use, almost nine in ten people who used cannabis in the past 12 months feel the same way, the survey showed.
Smoking remains the most common method of consuming cannabis, but it has declined, the survey indicated, while using a vape pen, drinking and using topical products have all increased since 2020.
Additionally, more than half of those who use cannabis – or 53 per cent – chose to obtain it through a legal storefront as their usual source, a substantial increase from 41 per cent in 2020, and 11 per cent reported obtaining cannabis from a legal online source.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted respondents’ cannabis use?
Asked if their cannabis use had changed due the pandemic, 49 per cent reported using the same amount – a decrease from 56 per cent in 2020 – while 29 per cent reported using more, an increase from 22 per cent in 2020, and 22 per cent reported using less, a number unchanged from 2020.
Changes in COVID’s impact on cannabis use seemed to primarily affect younger age groups. Twenty-five per cent of those 25 years and older reported using more cannabis, compared to 46 per cent of those aged 16 to 19 and 40 per cent of 20 to 24 year olds.
In addition, the number of those reporting driving after cannabis use in the past 12 months has decreased to 16 per cent in 2021, compared to 19 per cent in 2020.
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