A recently released study is showing how truly vast the scope of cannabis usage is across the United States. The study, conducted by the Annals of Internal Medicine, revealed that more than 14% of Americans had used cannabis in the past year. That number jumped to 20% amongst people who lived in states where cannabis was legal. Smoking cannabis was still the favorite method of consumption among Americans who had used cannabis in the last year, as 12.9% reported smoking marijuana in the last year. 6% reported edible use, 4.7% had vaporized cannabis, and 1.9% said they had used cannabis concentrates during 2017.
Numbers Show Cannabis Is Becoming More Mainstream
The study’s coauthor, Dr. Salomeh Keyhani of the University of California, San Francisco still has concerns about the high levels of cannabis use throughout America. She said, “THC levels (the psychoactive component in cannabis) are very high in some forms of marijuana, the concentrates, for example. We don’t understand the impact of products with high THC.”
Keyhani also has reservations about the regulatory structure of cannabis legalization saying, “It seems like the current regulatory structure is not keeping pace with commercialization. There is commercialization without uniform standards on the types of products that can be sold or marketed to the public.”
Though one of the coauthors of the study makes her concerns over increasing legalization and cannabis use rates across America known, cannabis use in non-legal areas is also rising. 12% of Americans in completely non-legal cannabis said they used cannabis in 2017. That figure may come off as surprising but what it shows is that cannabis use rates are actually rather similar regardless of whether or not cannabis is legal or not in different states.
Ramifications of the Study
The study, which was released Tuesday, August 28th, 2018, surveyed more than 9,000 adults ages 18 and over and the age 18-34 group was the most likely to have used cannabis in the last year. The study is an interesting look at how the number of cannabis consumers in the United States continues to rise and likely will so long as more states pass cannabis legalization measures.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.