A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Curaleaf, a leading U.S. provider of consumer products in cannabis, finds that 42% of adults aged 21+ who have ever consumed cannabis have started or increased their consumption since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the survey by the independent pollster, conducted online in October 2020 among nearly 2,000 U.S. adults aged 21+, the main reasons many Americans have chosen to start or increase their cannabis consumption since the pandemic began include:
- to reduce stress and anxiety (54%; women (64%) and men (47%))
- to relax (50%; women (50%) and men (49%))
- to help them sleep (48%; women (52%) and men (45%))
This shift in consumption habits extends to parents of children under 18 (“parents”). In fact, more than half (52%) of parents who have ever consumed cannabis say they have started or increased their cannabis consumption since the beginning of the pandemic, compared to 33% of those who are not parents of children under 18. These moms and dads of children under 18 are also more likely to consume cannabis primarily for medical use (58% vs. 44%).
The survey also found that more than half (57%) of parents with children under 18 who have ever consumed cannabis have reduced or replaced their alcohol consumption with cannabis since the start of the pandemic.
Overall, amongst all adult cannabis consumers aged 21+, 45% say they have reduced or replaced their alcohol consumption with cannabis, and one-third (33%) of those who consume cannabis for adult use say they prefer cannabis to alcohol.
“Educating consumers around cannabis consumption is so important,” said Stacia Woodcock, PharmD and Dispensary Manager for Curaleaf in New York. “Curaleaf’s pharmacists and committed dispensary associates make it a priority to educate our patients and consumers and help them find the right products to make cannabis a part of their lives.”
The survey results come as the cannabis industry continues to become destigmatized and evolve into an increasingly mainstream role within society. Governors across the country designated the industry an “essential service” throughout the pandemic, acknowledging the important role cannabis plays serving the health and wellness needs of consumers. In November, voters in five states approved ballot measures expanding access to cannabis. Medicinal cannabis will be available in 36 states and adult-use in 15 states and Washington D.C.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in new consumers at our dispensaries with more people exploring cannabis,” said Joe Bayern, President of Curaleaf. “The liberalization of the plant — and the increasing diversity among consumers who enjoy it — will continue as the general public become more interested in incorporating cannabis into their health and wellness routines.”
The survey also found similarities in cannabis consumption regardless of educational level or marital status, and across different regions of the country.
AP Photo Susan Montoya Bryan