Why Do Most People Use Cannabis?

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Reaching for a weed-filled pipe, vape pen, preroll, gummy or bong is second nature to many Americans. By some accounts, up to 65 percent of our fellow country people say they’ve tried cannabis in their lifetime. Boomers are still a big demographic for historic use, but Millennials and Gen Z are now pushing current sales. But why do they choose it?


According to a new Harris Poll released by Curaleaf, adults who’ve used cannabis claim health and wellness are generally the reason, with the majority doing it to relax, followed by using it as a sleep aid, and to reduce stress and anxiety.

RELATED: How Much Weed Gen Z Buys, and What That Means For the Industry

The numbers don’t lie

Out of the 2,000 adults (aged 21 and over) surveyed, more than 90 percent see cannabis as a health aid, a plant for wellness, which follows the trajectory of the industry right now. As legalization continues to grow — adult-use is now legal in 19 states and counting — the stigma around consumption continues to fade.

Cannabis is almost as mainstream as drinking beer. Almost being the operative word: There are still a number of states against full legalization and decriminalization. And federal legalization continues to be blocked, even if both sides of the political spectrum continue to push for it.

RELATED: Can Cannabis Benefit Healthy People? Let Us Count the Ways

This current survey is representative of the changing tide, however. More Americans — 75 percent, according to the poll — are looking for more holistic solutions for medical treatment, whether it’s to help fight cancer, depression and anxiety, glaucoma, or chronic pain. And 62 percent of people say they would prefer to use cannabis rather than pharmaceuticals in general.

“Educating consumers on how cannabis can be leveraged to support everyday health and wellness needs is critical to destigmatizing the plant and providing consumers with more choices to best fit their personal lifestyle,” says Dr. Stacia Woodcock, Clinical Cannabis Pharmacist for Curaleaf New York. “There are a wide variety of ways to consume cannabis safely, and many formulations actually have minimal intoxicating effects. Different product options with various ratios of THC and CBD give patients the opportunity to consume cannabis in a way that works with their lifestyle and comfort level.”

Of those who chose cannabis as an alternative, 88 percent said it improved their overall well-being, and 86 percent said they’d recommend it to a friend or family member for medical reasons. Check out the full report here.

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