A new study from Statistics Canada has found that 1 in 20 Canadians who had consumed cannabis in the past year were at risk for cannabis use disorder.
Researchers asked Canadians about their cannabis usage in 2019 and 2020, with an estimated 6.5 million saying they had consumed cannabis in the previous 12 months.
Of those respondents, more than one-third (38 percent) said they used cannabis less than once a month, while one-quarter reported using cannabis weekly or one to three times a month. Another 26 percent said they used cannabis daily or almost daily.
While more than three-quarters (77.3 percent) of those who reported using cannabis at least once in the past year said they would not have a problem quitting, just under five percent were found to be at risk of cannabis use disorder—the equivalent of 299,543 Canadians in total. Most of these respondents were single men aged 25-44 who started using cannabis at 15 or younger.
About one in five of those Canadians said that their cannabis use led to health, social, legal, or financial problems, and they were more likely to fail to accomplish expected tasks due to their cannabis use.
Unsurprisingly, the study found that cannabis users who were at the highest risk of addiction were those who used cannabis frequently. Single or never-married people, men aged 18 to 24 years and from lower-income households, people diagnosed with an anxiety or mood disorder, or who started consuming cannabis at age 15 or younger, monthly or more, were also at higher risk.
The study “Using the Severity of Dependence Scale to Examine Cannabis Consumers with Impaired Control in Canada” is now available online.