Canadian Cannabis Survey Reveals that 72% Smoke in their Homes
by Gabrielle Caravetta
To better understand how people view cannabis and use it, Health Canada has collected data that will be used to evaluate the impact of the Cannabis Act. The Cannabis Act is a national Canadian legal framework designed to control the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis.
To establish the prevalence of cannabis use in the public, Health Canada has tailored two surveys: the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS) and the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CSTADS). These surveys are designed to generalize information and not identify any details, and that is why Health Canada has devised the Canadian Cannabis Survey (CCS) to gather more detailed pieces of information.
Data was collected on the knowledge, attitude and behaviours about cannabis. All respondents were asked questions about their opinions and knowledge related to cannabis. Topics included social acceptability of cannabis and other substance use, perceived risk of using cannabis and other substances, observation of cannabis use in public, exposure to health warning messages and public health messaging, and cannabis use in the home.
There was also a collection on cannabis use and products. Respondents who reported using cannabis for non-medical purposes were asked detailed questions about their use of cannabis for non-medical purposes. Topics included frequency of cannabis use, age of initiation of use, methods of consumption, types of cannabis products used, typical THC to CBD ratio of products, average amount spent on these products, usual source of cannabis, and where people store cannabis inside the home.
Researchers looked at the relationship between driving and cannabis as well. People who had used cannabis in the past 12 months were asked about their driving habits relative to cannabis use and cannabis use in combination with alcohol or other drugs. All respondents were asked if they had ever been a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone within two hours of using cannabis, and all respondents were also asked for their opinions on cannabis and driving.
Respondents were asked about their use of cannabis for medical purposes and those who indicated they had used cannabis in the past 12 months were asked if they would complete an additional section related to this use. Of the 1,842 respondents who indicated they had used cannabis for medical purposes in the past 12 months, 1,067 agreed to complete the medical use section of the survey. Questions were on the source of the product, type of product, frequency of use, type of strain, how much was used in a typical day, diseases and symptoms addressed by cannabis use, and changes in respondents' use of other medications as a result of cannabis use.