Males nearly twice as likely to use cannabis than females: StatsCan

Statistics Canada released a trove of new cannabis data Thursday in its quarterly “National Cannabis Survey” (NCS), noting trends such as more prevalent cannabis use among men than women.

StatsCan has released its NCS every three months since 2018 in an effort to monitor cannabis consumption in the country. Nearly 6,500 people were surveyed for the agency’s latest entry that examined the second quarter of 2019, from mid-May to mid-June 2019.

In total, StatsCan says about 16 percent of Canadians aged 15 or older reported using cannabis in the last three months. That’s down from 17.5 percent in the first three months of 2019.

Of those Canadians, males showed more prevalent cannabis use than females.

Males were almost twice as likely to have used cannabis in the first use half of 2019 compared to females (21 percent compared to 12 percent) and were twice as likely to use cannabis daily than females in the same time period (eight percent vs. four percent).

Males not only reported more cannabis use than females in 2019 but also their use was non-medical. Fifty-two percent of males said they used cannabis exclusively for non-medical reasons, while females’ reason was evenly split between non-medical, medical and mixed reasons.

The type of cannabis used and the way it was consumed also differed between males and females.

Other differences in consumption habits

Eighty-two percent of males said they preferred dried cannabis and hashish compared to 67 percent of females. Females were twice as likely to use non-dried flower products than males  (23 percent vs 12 percent), and three times more likely to have consumed cannabis through “other” methods besides smoking or vaping, such as topicals or oils (14 percent vs five percent).

Overall, 77 percent of Canadians reported using dried cannabis in the first half of 2019, while 26 percent said they used edibles, 20 percent liquid concentrates, 19 percent vape pens and 16 percent hashish.

Females were also more likely to not pay for cannabis than males — 42 percent of females reported receiving it from family and friends compared to 33 percent of males.

Nova Scotia and Alberta reported the most cannabis use in the past three months, at 24 percent and 20 percent respectively, while Quebec’s use dipped down to 10 percent — lower than the national average.

The report also notes that cannabis consumption in the second quarter of 2019 was virtually unchanged from the same quarter in 2018, prior to legalization.

However, the numbers show cannabis may become more popular among seniors. The number of people 65 years of age or older who reported using the drug rose from three percent to five percent since 2018’s second quarter.

About one-third of Canadians, both males and females, reported that they tried cannabis in the past but are not current users.

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