A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that 14.6% of U.S. adults consumed cannabis in 2017, Reuters reports. Specifically in states with adult-use or medical legalization, one in five people tried cannabis. The most common method of consumption was smoking by a slim margin, at 55% of those surveyed.
Other noteworthy data reported in the study was that 66% of people used cannabis for pain management, which is interesting, considering a study published recently in the Lancet, often cited by opponents of cannabis as a substitute for opioids, that found cannabis ineffective for pain management. Obviously, more research needs to be done.
Also noteworthy is the study’s finding that cannabis users in states with adult-use legalization were more likely to vaporize cannabis or consume it in edible form than to smoke the plant. This market trend among cannabis users has been observed in many legal markets and is further reinforced by this study.
The study authors concluded that Americans’ view of cannabis is more favorable than previous studies have shown. This may reinforce the perception common among cannabis advocates and others in the know that we’re in a period of rapidly-changing opinions about cannabis. The authors of the study did have some concerns about the rapidly changing cannabis environment, however.
“There are increasingly novel forms of marijuana available and the risks of these products to health are unknown. THC (the psychoactive component) is very high in some forms of marijuana, the concentrates, for example. We don’t understand the impact of products with high THC.” — Dr. Salomeh Keyhani of the University of California, San Francisco, study co-author, via Reuters