Health Canada releases new data on cannabis use after surveying 13K Canadians

(Photo: Flickr/cagrimmett)

Between May and July 2018, Health Canada asked almost 13,000 Canadians about their knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to cannabis, including their cannabis use and driving behaviours after consuming cannabis.

Results from the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Survey released on Nov. 19 provide a snapshot of Canadians’ views and habits related to cannabis several months before the Cannabis Act came into force, including:

  • how much and how often they used cannabis
  • where they got it from
  • what forms of cannabis they consumed
  • the extent to which they were accepting of cannabis use
  • what they thought about its potential to be habit forming
  • whether they believed cannabis could affect someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle

The survey found that most people (89 per cent) who use recreational cannabis smoke it. Forty-two per cent said they eat it, 26 per cent said they use a vape pen, and 14 per cent use a vaporizer.

How often are people using cannabis? According to the survey results, 35 per cent use less than monthly, 25 per cent use it “daily or almost daily,” 20 per cent weekly, and 20 per cent monthly.

See also: Majority of Canadians think minimum age to buy, use pot should be raised: poll

The 2018 Canadian Cannabis Survey results also show that most Canadians acknowledged the risk of using cannabis.

The percentage of respondents who perceive consuming cannabis regularly to have a moderate of great risk was 72 per cent for smoking, 70 per cent for vaping and 66 per cent for eating.

The survey also found that 50 per cent of those who have cannabis at home used locked or child-proof containers, which is an increase from the 2017 figure or 41 per cent.

Meantime, 81 per cent of those surveyed said cannabis affects one’s ability to drive, which is an increase from 75 per cent in 2017.

“It is encouraging to see that a greater number of Canadians understand that cannabis use has significant health effects, such as impairing your ability to drive,” said Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. “Eighty-one per cent of all survey respondents believed that cannabis use affects driving, up from 75 per cent in 2017. The Government has a zero tolerance approach to impaired driving. Public education and awareness activities will ensure that Canadians understand that driving while impaired by cannabis is a criminal offence.”

According to a release, the survey results “reinforce the Government of Canada’s continued public education efforts on the facts around cannabis, as well as on drug-impaired driving, to support Canadians in making informed decisions on cannabis use.”

Click here to read the entire survey results.

The Canadian Cannabis Survey was designed to seek a greater number of respondents who use cannabis in order to obtain more detailed information on cannabis use in Canada, such as frequency of use and methods of consumption. As such, it is important to note that the Canadian Cannabis Survey is not a general population survey and its results are not representative of the Canadian population.

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