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Fast Facts: National Cannabis Survey, Q4 Results

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National Cannabis Survey

Throughout 2018 and into 2019, Statistics Canada is conducting quarterly, National Cannabis Surveys. Results reflect the cannabis use, purchase preference information, and more about medical and non-medical cannabis use among Canadians aged 15 and older.

Last week, results of the Q4 survey administered in each province from mid-November to mid-December of 2018 were released to the public and covered by various media outlets.

Overview of Q4 Results

  • Rates of cannabis consumption reported in the fourth quarter were unchanged compared with the third quarter.
  • Rates of consumptions remained higher in Nova Scotia than in the rest of Canada. 
  • Whether a respondent thought they would use cannabis in early 2019 largely depended on whether they currently use or have formerly used cannabis, and at what frequency.
  • When selecting a source of cannabis, quality and safety were the most important consideration (76%) among survey respondents. 

Consumption Rates and Demographics

  • About 4.6 million or 15% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using cannabis in the last three months—a similar percentage to what was reported before legalization.
  • Consumption rates continued to be higher among males (19%) than females (11%)—consistent with data from previous quarters.
  • The prevalence of cannabis use over the past three months was higher among 18- to 24-year-olds (33%) than in other age groups (ranging from 5% to 21%).
  • People reporting use in the past three months were 38 years old on average.
  • More than half (55%) of Canadians aged 15 and older indicated that they have never used cannabis, while 3 in 10 were former users who reported no longer using it.

Medical and Non-medical Use 

  • Among the 15% of Canadians reporting current use:
    • 7% reported using cannabis for non-medical reasons exclusively;
    • 4% indicated using cannabis for medical reasons only (with or without medical documentation);
    • and another 4% reported using for both medical and non-medical reasons (mixed use).
  • Most medical users with documentation consume cannabis daily or almost daily.
  • Accessing cannabis legally is more common among medical users with documentation than non-medical users.
  • Medical users are less likely to choose smoking as a consumption method.

*data for the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut was not available in Q4

Check out the NCS Q4 survey results infographic or read the survey report. To learn about cannabis use, legalization, and obtain resources for your patients, visit Canada.ca.

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Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team

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