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Among those who have used cannabis in the past 12 months, 68 per cent reported having seen Health Canada’s warning messages, an increase of 10 per cent from 2019.
New for 2020, Canadians were asked about growing their own cannabis. For those who have consumed the plant in the past 12 months, 15 per cent reported growing plants in or around the home in 2020. The average number of plants was three.
When it comes to social acceptability, Canadians responded that among alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis, booze remains the most socially accepted, followed by cannabis and tobacco. The social acceptability of occasionally smoking and eating cannabis increased slightly compared to 2019. In general, the majority of respondents felt occasional alcohol or cannabis use carried little to no risk, whereas smoking tobacco or e-cigarettes was seen as having a moderate risk profile.
Cannabis use and products used
Fewer students were consuming cannabis this year, with 29 per cent of college, CEGEP, or university students reporting using cannabis in the past 12 months, compared to 40 per cent in 2019. The age of initiation, or the age at which respondents first started using cannabis, also increased slightly, rising from 19.2 years in 2019 to 20.0 years in 2020.
Among students who consumed cannabis in the past 12 months, 74 per cent reported not consuming before or at school, an increase from 50 per cent in 2019.
The pandemic led to 22 per cent of respondents increasing their cannabis consumption over the previous 12 months. While 22 per cent reported consuming less and 56 per cent said their consumption was unchanged. The most common reasons for increasing cannabis use were to relax (73 per cent), boredom (65 per cent), stress (53 per cent), and anxiety (53 per cent).