Whether you’ve used marijuana before or not, the fact of the matter is that this magical plant is becoming the favorite pastime of many people around the world. The marijuana statistics below clearly show that the market is growing and just how much people enjoy it.
However, no matter how enticing and easily available weed may be, we also have to be aware of the health risks that smoking cannabis carries with it. It’s up to you to do the research and decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Thanks to these facts and statistics, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. After all, that’s the only way to make using marijuana recreationally safe, responsible, fun, and truly relaxing.
Top 10 Marijuana Statistics
- Only 0.4% of worldwide users named kief as their preferred method of marijuana consumption in 2017.
- The number of marijuana users has been steadily rising since 2009 in the US.
- 86% of Americans think cannabis is very important for medical purposes.
- Chronic users can experience selective impairment of cognitive functions.
- California had the biggest market for marijuana in 2018, with a value of 5.6 billion dollars.
- An ounce of the highest-quality weed was most expensive in the district of Columbia in 2018.
- 1 in 6 teens who use marijuana frequently will become addicted.
- The effects of weed are different for everyone.
- Smoking weed while pregnant is bad for both the mother and the baby.
- Marijuana can be therapeutic.
General Marijuana Statistics
1. The yearly prevalence of marijuana usage worldwide is 2.5%.
Even though this doesn’t seem like much by itself, things are put into perspective when you realize that the yearly prevalence of cocaine and opiates is 0.2% worldwide. This makes marijuana the most widely abused, trafficked, and cultivated drug. In fact, half of all seizures caused by drugs worldwide are related to cannabis.
2. In Asia, 64.84 million people used cannabis in 2017.
This makes Asia the region of the world with the most marijuana prevalence. However, it should be noted that this number went down from 88.78 million in 2015. Oceania is by far the region with the fewest users in both 2015 and 2017, with 3.73 and 2.95 million users respectively. Perhaps surprisingly, with the widespread opinion of how liberal Europe is, marijuana usage statistics show that it was in second-to-last place with 30.21 million users in 2017 and 29.45 million in 2015.
3. Only 0.4% of worldwide users named kief as their preferred method of marijuana consumption in 2017.
According to the same marijuana stats, kief is also the least common method of consumption (1.6%). The most preferred method was plain old weed, with 47.7% of users stating so. 38.5% of users said they preferred high potency, and 10.2% mentioned resin or hash as their preferred method of consumption.
4. 43.3% of Columbians said they wanted to reduce their marijuana usage by the following year, in 2017.
38.8% of users living in Portugal said the same thing, as did 37.3% of those living in Denmark. The country with the lowest number of people who wanted to reduce their cannabis use was Poland, with 19.6%. The US was in second-to-last place, with 24.3%.
5. Marijuana addiction facts: 1 in 6 teens who use marijuana frequently will become addicted.
Addiction is marked by the inability to quit using marijuana when they want to but also by giving up on activities that used to be important to the person. Addicted teens would rather spend their time using marijuana than socializing with family or friends or engaging in other fun activities.
Marijuana Prevalence in the USA
6. The number of marijuana users has been steadily rising since 2009 in the US.
The continual rise of users indicates that the market is also growing. In 2009, there were 16.826 reported cannabis users, according to marijuana use statistics. In 2017, this number hit 25.997. As weed has been legalized and continues to be popular, we can expect these numbers to keep rising.
7. 67% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal in the US.
(Pew Research Center)
When it comes to politics, 78% of those leaning to the Democratic party believe weed should be made legal. In comparison, only 55% of Republican-leaning citizens believe so. Marijuana legalization facts tell us that almost the same percentage (68% and 65% respectively) of men and women are in favor of legalizing cannabis. When it comes to education, 68% of those with a postgraduate degree support marijuana legislation. 63% of those with a college degree and 67% of those with a high school degree or less are also supporters.
8. 86% of Americans think cannabis is very important for medical purposes.
Medicinal use of marijuana is stated as the top reason for weed legalization, with only 2% of Americans opposing the idea. More time to focus on other crimes makes it second on the list of reasons for legalization, with 70% of US citizens thinking that’s very important. 60% simply believe that freedom and personal choice are very important, while 56% say weed would be a good source of tax revenue. According to those weed statistics, 47% think that another very important reason for legalization is that, with government regulation, marijuana would be safer for everyone.
9. 22% of those aged between 18 and 29 reported using marijuana in 2019, making them the largest consumer group in the US.
50 to 64-year olds were in second place with 12%, and those aged between 30 and 49 weren’t too far behind with 11%. Unsurprisingly, marijuana usage stats show that only 3% among those aged over 65 use cannabis.
10. 38% of high schoolers said they had used marijuana at some point.
This is concerning, as research has shown that using marijuana during the adolescent years can have permanent effects on brain development. Long-term and frequent use of marijuana is also linked to dropping out of school and lower academic achievement.
Marijuana Myths and Facts
11. The effects of weed are different for everyone.
Even though some effects of weed, like lowered anxiety, may be almost universal, others vary from person to person. Some may become more talkative and find everything funny, while others might get more intense hunger pangs (munchies). However, weed can also make you feel confused, more anxious, lethargic, sick, and affect your memory.
12. THC and CBD are the two main components found in cannabis.
There are a lot of other cannabinoids found in marijuana, but THC and CBD are the most prominent ones. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol –THC– is responsible for giving you the high. THC binds itself to the brain receptors and has psychoactive compounds. CBD, or cannabidiol, only has physical effects. It doesn’t affect the brain at all, but rather completely relaxes the body.
13. Weed facts: You can get addicted to weed.
Even though most users say weed isn’t addicting, they can still become dependent on it if they use it regularly. Tolerance is also developed, and withdrawal symptoms are included when you stop using it. Getting addicted to nicotine is also a risk factor if you smoke cannabis with tobacco.
14. It’s a common belief that there are three cannabis strains, which is sort of true.
Each strain has a different effect on your body and mind. Sativa is more uplifting, makes you more sociable, fuels your creativity, and is good for keeping active. Indica, on the other hand, has more of a sedative effect, is better used before bed, and is ideal for relaxing. Hybrid strains fall somewhere in between and often offer a nice balance of all of these effects. However, research also shows that these differences are slowly disappearing.
Marijuana Stats and Facts on Health
15. Marijuana affects the ability to learn.
When cannabis is used during learning and recall, it can damage one’s ability to recall what they previously learned. This points to the fact that marijuana impairs associative processes.
16. Weed impairs psychomotor performance.
It impairs psychomotor performance to such an extent that a person cannot operate heavy machinery for a full day after smoking a little bit of THC. This is due to the increased risk of injury and accidents. When talking about smoking weed, facts from research and empirical evidence also tell us that motor coordination, operative tasks, and the division of attention are also affected.
17. Chronic users can experience selective impairment of cognitive functions.
The longer you use marijuana, the more likely the cognitive impairment is to be permanent. Research has shown that brain function doesn’t return to normal even when a person stops using cannabis completely. Functions, including the processing and organization of complex information, are affected, as well as memory processes and functions related to attention.
18. Smoking weed during pregnancy is bad for both the mother and the baby.
One of the most commonly known smoking weed while pregnant facts is that cannabis can stunt the growth and development of the fetus. Most often, this leads to low birth weight, which just causes more potential problems. Some research also points to the link between rare forms of cancer and marijuana abuse during pregnancy.
19. Weed can severely damage your respiratory system.
Prolonged use of marijuana has been linked to airway injury, reduced ability of the lungs to fight off infections, and inflammations of the respiratory system. Chronic bronchitis and acute bronchitis are also more common among chronic marijuana users.
20. Teens who smoke weed are at higher risk of developing mental health issues.
Research has shown that teenagers who use marijuana frequently are more prone to depression and anxiety. The risk is even higher if they have a family history of these illnesses.
21. Medical marijuana facts indicate that weed can be therapeutic.
Even though smoking marijuana carries a lot of risk with it, there are some therapeutic benefits for certain users. It has been shown that cannabis is effective in treating vomiting and nausea in illnesses such as AIDS and cancer. This is why THC has been a prescription drug available in the US for the last ten years.
Stats on Marijuana Industry
22. By 2025, legal marijuana sales are expected to rise to 23 billion in the USA.
Sales have started rising significantly since 2016, as this is the year when investments in the legal cannabis industry were the most significant, totaling up to 477.96 million dollars.
23. California had the biggest market for marijuana in 2018, with a value of 5.6 billion dollars.
New York was in second place, with a value of 2.3 billion dollars, and Washington wasn’t too far behind, with a value of $2.2 billion. The market with the lowest value of 40.2 million dollars was in Wyoming.
24. Cannabis retails taxes are expected to rise to 1.8 billion US dollars.
The same cannabis statistics show that state sale taxes are expected to rise to 0.47 billion dollars. This marks a significant increase from tax revenue from medical and recreational use in 2017. That year, retail taxes were 0.61 billion, and state sale taxes equaled 0.14 billion.
25. An ounce of the highest-quality weed was most expensive in the district of Columbia in 2018.
The average price in the District of Columbia was 600 USD for an ounce of high-quality weed, making it by far the most expensive state. Illinois was in second place with $354 per ounce, while Oregon was the least expensive state, with weed costing 200 dollars per ounce.
The debate on whether marijuana is a dangerous drug or the next medical breakthrough has seemed to be going on forever. As time progresses and more research is done, we’re able to gather the true marijuana statistics and facts that help us decide which side of the debate we’re on. With popularity increasing and legalization hitting more and more countries, we’ll be able to gather even more true data. Whether you use weed or are thinking of doing so, it’s important to stay educated and informed in order to minimize risks and potential consequences.