Cannabis Perception: US-Canada Comparative Study

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Comparative Study on Cannabis: US and Canada

A recent study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research has shed light on the perceptions and usage of cannabis in the United States and Canada. Despite differing national policies, with Canada having federal cannabis legalization and the U.S. not, the study reveals striking similarities in both countries' attitudes and consumption rates.

Key Themes of the Study

The research, encompassing surveys from 1,047 Canadians and 1,037 U.S. residents, focused on four main themes: acceptance and consumption, normalization, edibles, and education. It provides a comprehensive look at how cannabis is viewed and used in North America.

Similar Usage Rates in Both Countries

One of the study's notable findings is the similarity in cannabis usage rates between the two countries. Approximately 45% of Canadians and 42% of Americans reported consuming cannabis. The study also highlighted that a significant portion of these users consume cannabis daily.

Legal Sources and Consumer Preferences

Interestingly, the study found that U.S. consumers are less likely to purchase cannabis from legal sources compared to their Canadian counterparts. This difference is attributed to the varied legal status of cannabis in the U.S., where many states still prohibit adult-use cannabis, leading some consumers to illicit sources.

Support for Legalization

Attitudes toward cannabis legalization showed strong parallels, with 78% of Canadian respondents and 75% of Americans expressing support for legalizing cannabis. This finding indicates a broad consensus in favor of cannabis legalization across North America.

Local Regulation and Municipal Authority

The study also delved into opinions on local regulation. A majority of Canadians believe that municipal governments should not have the authority to ban retail cannabis within their jurisdictions. In contrast, a smaller percentage of U.S. respondents opposed local bans on retail cannabis.

Normalization and Education Needs

The authors concluded that cannabis is increasingly perceived as a normalized substance in North America. However, they also identified a significant need for education about cannabis, its properties, and potential benefits for physical and mental health.

Public Acknowledgment of Cannabis Consumption

Canadian responses indicated a more relaxed attitude towards public acknowledgment of cannabis consumption compared to their American counterparts. This change in attitude is more pronounced than when cannabis was first legalized in Canada in October 2018.

Product Preferences and Pandemic Impact

Cured cannabis flower emerged as the most popular product in both countries. The study also noted an increase in cannabis use during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a notable percentage of consumers in both countries reporting increased consumption.

Academic Interest in Cannabis Research

The growing body of academic literature on cannabis, including over 4,000 studies published in 2023 alone, underscores the increasing interest and importance of cannabis research in understanding its social, health, and economic impacts.

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Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

About the author:

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of CBD and hemp production. With a career spanning over a decade in the cannabis industry, he has dedicated his life to understanding the intricacies of these plants and their potential benefits to human health and the environment. Over the years, Robin has worked tirelessly to promote the full legalization of hemp in Europe. His fascination with the plant's versatility and potential for sustainable production led him to pursue a career in the field.

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