Earlier in December, Health Canada published the results of the 2022 Canadian Cannabis Survey, which has been conducted on a yearly basis since 2017. The data for the most recent 2022 survey were collected from April to June 2022.
According to the official government of Canada website, Health Canada created the Canadian Cannabis Survey (CCS) “to obtain detailed information about the habits of people who use cannabis and behaviours relative to cannabis use.”
The CCS evaluates aspects of patterns of cannabis use, including the quantities of cannabis consumed and the use of cannabis for medical purposes, the cannabis market, including sources of cannabis and pricing, and issues of public safety, such as impaired driving. Survey content is reviewed annually and modified to address any identified gaps in the data.
Furthermore, the 2022 CCS included additional questions related to relevant issues such as:
· Accidental consumption of cannabis products by individuals and pets in the household
· Exposure to advertisements or promotions of cannabis
· Changes in cannabis use over the past 12 months in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
The key findings from the 2022 CCS listed on the Government of Canada website include the following:
- Previous 12-month cannabis use among youth aged 16-19 has returned to pre-legalization levels in 2021 and 2022, after increasing between 2018 and 2020.
- Proportions of individuals reporting daily or almost daily cannabis use among those who use cannabis (an indicator of problematic or high-risk cannabis use behaviour) have been stable since 2018, including among youth aged 16-19.
- The percentage of individuals classified as ‘high-risk’ of developing problems from their cannabis use has remained stable since 2018.
- The proportion of respondents smoking cannabis have continued to decline since 2018, while vapourizing cannabis using a vape pen has increased since 2021.
- Smoking remains the most common method of consuming cannabis, followed by eating and vapourizing with a vape pen or e-cigarette.
- A greater proportion of respondents reported a legal source as their usual source of cannabis compared to 2021, with legal storefronts being the most common source since 2019. A smaller proportion reported illegal storefronts and illegal online sources in 2022 compared to 2019.
- Among those who used cannabis, driving after recent use decreased between 2018 and 2021 and remained unchanged in 2022.
- More than a quarter of individuals who used cannabis for medical purposes said they did so with a document from a healthcare professional, which corresponds to an increase since the previous 2021 survey results.
Overall, the results of the CCS will be used to inform policy and program development, as well as public education and awareness activities. As well, the data obtained from the survey will be used to inform the legislative review of the Cannabis Act led by an independent expert panel.