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In-Depth Coverage Of The Irish And European Markets

Discredited Cannabis Stereotypes


Cannabis consumption has undergone a remarkable shift in public perception over the past decade, with changing attitudes and increased legalisation efforts contributing to a more nuanced understanding of its consumers. A recently published report by New Frontier Data titled “Cannabis Consumers in America 2023 Part 1: An Overview of consumers today” provides valuable insights into the characteristics and behaviours of the typical cannabis consumer. Contrary to what is portrayed in the media and movies, the typical cannabis consumer is not a young, lazy underachiever. Instead, it is quite the opposite. The report dispels common misconceptions surrounding cannabis consumers. By offering a rigorous investigation into the demographics, consumption patterns, and attitudes of cannabis users.


The researchers employed a multi-stage random sampling method to ensure the representativeness of the sample. The study encompassed diverse geographic locations and included both medical and recreational users, spanning various age groups, socio-economic backgrounds, and regions. A comprehensive data collection approach, including interviews, surveys, and observations, facilitated a holistic analysis of cannabis consumers. The study surveyed 5,345 American adults conducted in February, 4,358 of them reported using cannabis, which is the statistical equivalent of 42 per cent of American adults.


Demographic Profile

Contrary to prevailing beliefs, the report reveals that cannabis consumption transcends traditional demographic boundaries. It highlights that individuals from a wide age spectrum, ranging from young adults to senior citizens, engage in cannabis consumption. Moreover, this behaviour is not limited to specific educational backgrounds, employment statuses, or income levels, challenging the notion of a stereotypical cannabis consumer. The largest group of cannabis consumers were between the ages of 25-34 at 24% with 35-44 age bracket coming second at 23%. Despite repeated claims of increased youth consumption, only 10% of consumers were between the ages of 18-24.



Frequency of Use

The report's findings indicate that 42% of U.S. adults have used cannabis and express a likelihood of using it again in the future. Furthermore, the study reveals that the frequency of cannabis use among current consumers does not significantly vary based on the type of home state market—whether adult use, medical, or illicit. The report also illustrates the rise in CBD products, with 54% of people citing they have tried CBD products, with 16% of non-consumers stating they have tried CBD products.



Changes in Consumption

Within the current consumer base, 37% reported an increase in cannabis consumption over the past year. This observation suggests a growing acceptance and integration of cannabis into the lifestyles of individuals who already engage in its consumption. In legal states we can see the shift away from traditional consumption methods such as smoking, although flower remains the dominant product at 43%, we can see the rise of vaping as an alternative intake method with 29% citing vaping as their preferred consumption method. Edibles and beverages remained low at 9%.



Objectives and Benefits

An intriguing aspect of the report is the identification of the objectives that motivate current consumers to use cannabis. Remarkably, 70% of these individuals assert that their cannabis use helps them achieve specific objectives. 83% of consumers stated they were motivated by the need to unwind, while 61% cited the aim of better quality sleep, 62% cited anxiety reduction and 48% cited pain management as their motivation for consuming cannabis. This finding underscores the multifaceted nature of cannabis consumption and its potential to serve diverse purposes in users' lives.



Medical and Recreational Use

Contrary to a simplistic dichotomy between medical and recreational use, the report reveals that 53% of current consumers describe their cannabis use as both medical and recreational, with 43%$ describing their use as purely medical. The survey highlighted the factors that led to doctors' recommendations (which are not technically "prescriptions" under the law): chronic pain, which accounted for 46% of respondents, 21% migraines, and 9% osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathy. This nuanced perspective highlights the subjective nature of the benefits and effects individuals derive from cannabis consumption.



Replacement of Prescription Medications

Notably, 51% of self-identified medical consumers reported replacing at least some of their prescription medications with cannabis. This finding points to the potential role of cannabis as an alternative or complementary treatment in managing certain health conditions, further contributing to the evolving understanding of its therapeutic value.



Implications

The comprehensive analysis presented in this report has profound implications for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the broader public. By providing a comprehensive analysis of demographics, consumption patterns, and attitudes, the report challenges prevailing stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding cannabis users. The findings reveal that cannabis consumption is not limited to a specific demographic but rather encompasses a wide range of individuals from various age groups, educational backgrounds, and income levels. This diversity among cannabis consumers undermines the notion of a stereotypical cannabis user, dismantling preconceived notions and promoting a more inclusive understanding of this population. Additionally, the report highlights the medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis use, with a significant proportion of consumers using it to replace or complement prescription medications. This evidence supports the notion that cannabis can serve as a viable alternative or adjunct to traditional treatments, further countering the stigmatization of cannabis users. By presenting a comprehensive and nuanced perspective, this report contributes to the normalization of cannabis consumption and advocates for evidence-based policies and healthcare practices that align with the diverse needs and experiences of cannabis consumers.




By challenging stereotypes and offering a nuanced understanding of cannabis consumers, this research can inform evidence-based policies, shape public discourse, and guide the development of targeted interventions. By debunking prevalent stereotypes and shedding light on demographics, consumption patterns, and attitudes, this research advances the understanding of this segment of the population. The findings underscore the multifaceted nature of cannabis consumption, its potential medical benefits, and the need for evidence-based approaches to policymaking and healthcare practices.

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