Younger Canadians more likely to use cannabis than older Canadians

| Sarah Clark

Over one-third of adults aged 18 to 44 years and one in seven adults aged 45 years and older had used cannabis in 2023, according to Canada’s newest National Cannabis Survey

The annual survey results were shared on March 18 and showed that 38.4% of people 18 to 24 years old and 15% of those over 45 reported consuming cannabis at least once in 2023. 

When it comes to frequent use of cannabis, 8.7% of adults aged 18 to 24, 10.3% aged 25 to 44, and 4.8% over 45 years of age reported consuming cannabis daily or almost daily in 2023.

Chart 1: Prevalence of daily cannabis use among all Canadians by age group and gender, 2023
Prevalence of daily cannabis use among all Canadians by age group and gender, 2023

Unsurprisingly, flower remains the most commonly consumed product, with 62.1% of all age groups. Edibles followed closely behind at 57.1%.

Those under 45 were much more likely to consume dried flower, vape pens, and concentrates, while those over 45 were much more likely to consume oral cannabis oil and topicals. 

Nearly 72% of consumers responded to getting their cannabis products exclusively from the legal regulated market, while just under 2% reported getting their products exclusively from the illicit market. Another 7.2% reported sourcing their cannabis from both types of access points.

The most commonly reported reason for choosing a legal source for cannabis was product safety (38%), followed by convenience at 16.9%, a desire to follow the law at just 12.9%, a belief in product quality at just 5.8%, and product selection or variety at 5.2%.

Another recent survey showed that household spending on legal cannabis in Canada has continued to increase while spending on illicit cannabis has decreased. Household expenditures on cannabis from the unlicensed sector were at a low of $465,000 in Q4 2023, down from about $1.2 million in Q4 2018.

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