Canadians Find Comfort in Cannabis
By J.J. McCoy, Senior Managing Editor for New Frontier Data
Canadian cannabis consumers overwhelmingly are turning to the plant for relaxation and pain relief, though nearly half of them do not know what they are consuming, according to new research by New Frontier Data.The Canadian Cannabis Consumer Survey: Attitudes, Awareness and Consumer Behavior in Canada’s Emerging Legal Market commissioned by Toronto-based Lift & Co. found that relaxation and pain management are the primary motivations among Canada’s consumers (ages 18 and older) of adult-use and medical cannabis. Of the 1,800 people surveyed, more than two-thirds listed relaxation and pain relief as their main reason for consumption. Meanwhile, half of adult-use consumers cited stress relief and to enjoy social experiences, while medical patients cited preferring improved sleep, relaxation, reduced stress, and relief from anxiety. Men make up two-thirds of Canada’s adult-use consumers (67% vs 32%), though the gender gap is narrower among medical patients (58% vs. 42%).Trends from the U.S. suggest that cannabis use among women is increasing significantly faster than men. If U.S. trends holds true, Canada can expect a narrowing in the gender gap. The data provided by the Lift Survey highlights the different preferences between adult-use and medical users, while also providing insights into the complex Canadian consumer. Founded in 2016, Lift & Co. maintains and shares a database of more than 50,000 user reviews and millions of data points among more than 1,000 legal cannabis products. In anticipation of Canada’s adult-use program later this year, the company aspires to expand on its annual user base of more than 1 million consumers and establish itself as the country’s go-to resource for unbiased information and reviews about cannabis. "Lift & Co. is driven by a community,” said CEO Matei Olaru. “An evolving industry like cannabis needs a trusted partner and we're excited to bring the same level of transparency, authority, and collaboration to the recreational market that we deliver to today's medical patients,” he added. “We are excited to soon empower millions more with comprehensive cannabis information, knowledge, and insights." The reasons for using cannabis varied broadly, especially between the two markets. Adult-use consumers reported being much more likely to engage in social activities (41%), while medical patients focused more often (71%) on domestic activities (chores, cooking) or individualized personal development (reading, meditation, or exercise). Other key findings of the survey:
- 49%of cannabis consumers lack any information about the products they consume;
- 70% expressed interest in learning about potency levels;
- 59% are concerned about mold or fungus; and
- 52% are interested in cannabinoid profiles.
J.J. McCoy is Senior Managing Editor for New Frontier Data. A former staff writer for The Washington Post, he is a career journalist having covered emerging technologies among industries including aviation, satellites, transportation, law enforcement, the Smart Grid and professional sports. He has reported from the White House, the U.S. Senate, three continents and counting.