American Weed Consumption Jumped 27% Last Year, Study Finds
A new survey found that 1 out of 5 adults have used cannabis. And those who’ve consumed the herb say they’re drinking less alcohol and living healthier, more active lifestyles, too.
Published on May 14, 2020

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A new marketing report found that as cannabis continues to mainstream its way into American culture, more adults are using the herb than ever before. 

The report is based on a survey from MRI Simmons, a marketing research firm. One of the report’s most eye-opening insights is the increase in cannabis consumption over a one-year period. In 2018, only 16 percent of respondents said they used weed at least once that year. But by 2019, that figure jumped to 22 percent, or just over 1 out of 5 adults, Marketing Charts reported. 

What accounts for the jump in weed consumption? Some of that increase is probably due to marijuana’s stigma ebbing away as the nation realizes that cannabis isn’t just (relatively) harmless, but that legalizing the plant improves society as a whole. Another part of the increase could be because new states legalized, cities and counties decriminalized, or jurisdictions otherwise expanded access to cannabis in 2019. 

A third possible reason: The ultra-dank bud growing in legal states, as well as all the novel, nifty cannabis innovations in those states (read: extracts, edibles, and oils), are being smuggled into prohibition states and sold on the black market to customers who otherwise wouldn’t waste their money on shitty, low-grade weed. 

But, there’s a fourth reason for the increase of cannabis use touched on in the report, too. Americans, in general, are adopting healthier lifestyles, and cannabis makes for a perfect fit when turning over a new leaf. 

The survey found that 90 percent — or nearly all — respondents believed that cannabis is a safer, healthier alternative to alcohol (which it is). The tokers weren’t just all talk, either, as a whopping two-thirds of them said they drank less booze as they consumed more cannabis

MRI Simmons’ survey also found some additional lifestyle trends among cannabis consumers. For instance, people who get lit tend to have more physically and socially active lives, and they tend to eat cleaner diets. Additionally, almost one out of three cannabis consumers is a parent, so these lifestyle choices likely stem from wanting to set a good example for the kids. 

Despite weed’s growing popularity in the US after 80 years of criminalization and demonization, other psychoactive products are currently used at much higher rates. While 22 percent of adults said they used weed last year, 43 percent said they used herbal supplements, 65 percent said they got drunk, and 87 percent caught their buzzes from caffeine — which was, and still is, the world’s most popular drug

Here’s to pumping up those rookie reefer numbers for 2020!

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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