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    Study Highlights Surge in Daily Cannabis Use Versus Alcohol

    As global cannabis policies evolve, a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Jonathan P. Caulkins reveals a significant rise in daily cannabis use in the U.S., surpassing daily alcohol use. The study, published in Addiction, analyzed data from 1979 to 2022 and found that:

    • Daily or near-daily cannabis use now exceeds that of alcohol.
    • Reported cannabis use hit a low in 1992, surged after 2008, and saw a 15-fold increase in daily use from 1992 to 2022.
    • Cannabis users report higher frequency use compared to drinkers.

    Caulkins emphasizes that these trends reflect policy changes but also underlying cultural shifts.

    Key Findings:

    1. Significant Increase in Daily Use:
      • Daily cannabis use has risen dramatically, outpacing daily alcohol use for the first time.
      • By 2022, 17.7 million Americans reported daily cannabis use, compared to 14.7 million for alcohol.
    2. Long-Term Trends:
      • Cannabis use fluctuated with policy changes, declining during restrictive periods and increasing during liberalization.
      • From 2008 to 2022, annual cannabis use days increased from 2.3 billion to 8.1 billion.
    3. Higher Frequency of Use Among Cannabis Users:
      • In 2022, median monthly cannabis use was 15-16 days, compared to 4-5 days for alcohol.
      • 42% of monthly cannabis users reported daily or near-daily use versus 11% of drinkers.

    Caulkins notes that while policy changes coincide with these trends, they may also reflect broader cultural shifts. The study used self-reported data from national surveys, highlighting significant changes in cannabis consumption patterns over the past decades.

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    Conclusion

    This study underscores the profound shifts in cannabis use in the U.S. over the past four decades. As policies continue to evolve, understanding these trends is crucial for shaping future cannabis regulations and public health strategies.

    For more details, read the full study here.

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