Most Cannabis Consumers Use on a Weekly Basis or More

American Consumers Are More Likely to Use Cannabis Daily than Canadians

The author(s)
  • Jeffrey Michaels Vice President, US, Ipsos Observer
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, August 28, 2019 — Most people who have used cannabis in the past year do so once a week or more, according to a new Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of PAX Labs. This poll, among Canadians and Americans in California, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Massachusetts aged 21 and over who report having used cannabis in the past 12 months, also finds that most users also consumed alcohol during the same period (84%), while far fewer report tobacco use, about half (52%), and even fewer used non-THC CBD products (41%). Most people who use marijuana do so at least once a week (61%). Far fewer consume several times a month (12%), once a month (8%), several times a year (13%), or once a month or less often (6%)

  • Americans are more likely to use cannabis daily than Canadians, 2 out of 5 Americans report daily use (37%), compared to under a third of Canadians (27%).

The pattern of a high percentage of frequent users and fewer occasional users is mirrored with non-THC CBD use. Over half of those who have consumed CBD in the past year do so once a week or more (55%). Fewer use it more occasionally: 15% say several times a month, 10% say once a month, 14% say several times a year, and 6% say once a year or less often. CBD is also more popular among Americans than Canadians. Half of American cannabis users report CBD use in the past 12 months (48%) compared to 35% of Canadians.

The most preferred form of consuming cannabis is by smoking (61%), though 1 in 5 indicate edibles are their preferred method (19%). Less common forms include vaping (13%), capsules (3%) and tinctures (3%).

  • Americans are more likely than their northern neighbors to prefer vaping (16% compared to 11% of Canadians) and edibles (21% compared to 17%).

Most cannabis users consume it to wind down after a long day (67%), though some also drink alcohol for the same purpose (38%). Tobacco use is less common among cannabis consumers to relax (17%), as is CBD (12%). 

  • Canadians are more likely to use alcohol to relax at the end of the day than Americans – 42% of Canadians report drinking alcohol to relax, while only a third of Americans report the same behavior (33%).

Half of users purchase their cannabis products at a recreational dispensary (54%), a third buy from friends (32%), and another fifth from a medical dispensary (21%). Home delivery service is the least popular option (13%).

  • Two thirds of Americans buy from recreational dispensaries (67%), compared to only two fifths of Canadians (44%). Canadians are more likely to buy from their friends (38%) than American (25%).
  • Americans are more open about their cannabis use with potential partners than Canadians. Half of Americans are willing to discuss cannabis use after a first date (53%), while Canadians prefer to wait longer: only 37% would discuss it after a first date, and 22% wait until after two dates.

Cannabis use is also associated with music for some people. On average, they report listening to music under the influence of cannabis 48% of the time. The most popular genres of music to listen to while using cannabis are classic rock (50%) hip hop or rap (39%), pop music (36%), alternative rock/indie, and R&B/soul (32% each). Reggae (25%), metal and hard rock (25%), country (22%) and blues (20%) are also popular. The least common genres are musical theatre and Broadway (5%) and gospel or religious music (3%).

In addition to using cannabis while listening to music at home, about 40% of users say they have used cannabis before attending a music concert or festival. The most common form of consumption before attending these events is smoking (66%), though edibles (17%) and vaping (12%) are also popular. Capsules (3%) and tinctures (2%) are the least popular.

  • Americans’ preferences for cannabis use are more diverse than Canadians. Half of Americans like to smoke at a concert or music festival (51%), a quarter like to vape (24%), and another 22% use edibles. Almost two thirds of Canadians smoke at a live music event (64%).

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 12-15, 2019 on behalf of PAX Labs. All qualified respondents are adults age 21+ who live in the US (n=1,200) or Canada (n=1,500). US respondents live in one of the following states: CA, NV, CO, OR, WA, MA. Sample is balanced to be reflective of demographics of the target group for the given markets. All completes have used cannabis within the past year. 

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=2,700, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-3.7 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points for Americans and plus or minus 2.9 percentage points for Canadians. 

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Jeffrey Michaels
Vice President, US
+1 312 526-4092
[email protected]


The author(s)
  • Jeffrey Michaels Vice President, US, Ipsos Observer
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs