Report Shows Similar Trends in American and Canadian Cannabis Consumption

Cannabis Consumption Stats, eh.

As Canada nears full cannabis legalization, BDS Analytics, a Colorado-based company specializing in cannabusiness-driven data, recently presented a webinar—“Public Attitudes and Actions Towards Cannabis in North America”—on their initial cannabis data findings in the Great White North.

We’ve detailed BDS Analytics’ stats before, but focused on data culled from adults 21+ in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado, all fully recreational states. This latest trend study included over 11,000 participants 21 years and older across the United States (in both legal and non-legal states) and 1,100 participants 18 years and older in Canada.

Presenter Linda Gilbert, Managing Director of Consumer Insights for BDS Analytics, explained that they place participants into one of three categories:

  • Consumers: Someone who has “consumed cannabis within the past six months.”
  • Acceptors: Someone who has “not consumed cannabis within the past six months, but would consider [doing so] in the future.”
  • Rejecters: Someone who has “not consumed cannabis within the past six months and would not consider [doing so] in the future.”
Many similarities were found among cannabis consumers in both the U.S. and Canada:
  • Cannabis consumption is generally a solo experience. 48% of U.S. consumers and 40% of Canadian consumers report partaking alone.
  • Most consumers favor evening or bedtime consumption.
  • Men and women consume cannabis in nearly equal numbers, and the average consumer age is 40.
  • Baby Boomers in North America are using cannabis to bond with both their children and their parents.
  • Consumers, for the most part, hone in on what they want. 45% of U.S. consumers and 55% of Canadian consumers “buy one product during a purchase occasion.”
  • More edibles are consumed in the U.S. than in Canada (legalization issues have stalled the spread of edibles in Canada), but in general both consumer groups show interest in low-dose, discreet products.
  • Consumers in both countries have similar preferred consumption methods: ~75% prefer inhalables, ~20% prefer edibles and ~4% prefer topicals.
Consumers in the U.S. and Canada report that they use cannabis “primarily for relaxation reasons”:
  • To “relax/be mellow”: 68% U.S. | 64% CAN
  • To “manage anxiety”: 51% U.S. | 44% CAN
  • To “manage stress”: 58% U.S. | 49% CAN
  • To “feel peaceful”: 57% U.S. | 50% CAN
Cannabis consumers in the U.S. and Canada defy stoner stereotypes:
  • 50% work full-time
  • 38% are physically active
  • 30% are very social
  • 50% are creative
  • 55% enjoy the outdoors
  • 40% spend more money for quality products
  • 40% like to try new products
  • 40% are more satisfied with life
Canadians are slightly more skeptical about medical cannabis than Americans, with 51% of U.S. consumers and 39% of Canadian consumers considering marijuana a form of medicine:
  • S. adults “are more likely to agree that medical marijuana has medical benefits” and that “cannabis is medicine.”
  • Canadian adults “call for more medical testing. [Canadian] consumers are less likely to claim they consume for health or medical reasons.”
  • There are “positive perceptions and attitudes about cannabis generally” in the U.S. due to “greater belief of medical and wellness uses” for cannabis.
Consumers in Canada and the U.S. pair cannabis with other activities:
  • Music/movies: 45% U.S. | 41% CAN
  • Snacks: 43% U.S. | 36% CAN
  • Chocolate: 25% U.S. | 20% CAN
  • Exercise: 18% U.S. | 12% CAN
  • Craft beer: 12% U.S. | 8% CAN
  • Fine dining: 18% U.S. | 11% CAN
  • Cocktails: 12% U.S. | 8% CAN
  • Wine: 11% U.S. | 7% CAN

As full legalization spreads to Canada later this summer, we look forward to seeing more data from our neighbors to the north!

About BDS Analytics:

Headquartered in Boulder, Colo., BDS Analytics provides cannabis brands, cultivators, producers, dispensaries, and investors with comprehensive, actionable, and accurate industry research. The company provides a holistic understanding of the cannabis market by producing insights from dispensary point-of-sale systems through its market-leading GreenEdgeTM platform, driving consumer research with its Cannabis Insights Group. To learn more about how you can utilize BDS Analytics’ superior data and insights, please visit

Katie Conley

Katie Conley is an editor at DOPE Magazine. She enjoys watching schlocky movies, listening to comedy and true crime podcasts, singing karaoke and napping in inopportune places.

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