Looking at American cannabis consumer facts and figures


According to a report presented by consumer insight firm Green Horizons, 39% of American adults report using cannabis, and 28% of those people say they use cannabis weekly. This translates to roughly 82 million American adult cannabis users, and 59 million of them are using it weekly. The data says 43% of those users live in a recreationally legal state, 31% of users live in a medicinally legal state, and 25% of users admit to using cannabis illegally. 

This report from Green Horizons explores various topics within the cannabis consumer population, it also talks with people who don’t use cannabis. The report says over half – 60% – of users are young and between the ages of 18 and 34 and more likely to live in urban areas.

Among cannabis users, 35% use cannabis recreationally only, 24% use it for medicinal purposes only, and 40% use it for both medicinal and recreational reasons. The number one reason for using cannabis medicinally is to combat anxiety, with 61% of medicinal users choosing cannabis as a remedy to their anxiety. Depression and chronic pain are the following two most popular reasons to use it medicinally. 47% of medicinal cannabis consumers use it to treat their depression and 35% of cannabis users use it to treat their chronic pain. Also on the list is insomnia, digestion, PTSD, and even eating disorders. 


The number one reason for using cannabis recreationally is to relax. Over half of recreational users use it to relax, 74% of cannabis consumers cite it as their reason for use. Some recreational users even say they use it to help their acute pain, which is interesting because that was an option given for the reasons for medicinal use. 27% of medicinal users say cannabis helps their acute/temporary pain and 42% of recreational users say they use it for their acute pain. Using cannabis to help sleep and combating social anxiety were also cited as reasons to use cannabis recreationally. Other recreational reasons include enhancing the taste of food, improving their sex life, and socializing with friends. 

The firm asked non-users why they don’t use cannabis. The top reason? 67% of people just aren’t interested. 23% of people are worried about cannabis’s effect on their mind and 20% worry about the plant’s effect on their body. People also explained it being illegal where they live, their moral opposition to cannabis, their belief of it being a gateway drug, and feeling like there is not enough research on cannabis as reasons they don’t use it. These same people were asked how they felt about people using cannabis. Nearly half said it was fine for adults to use it for medicinal reasons only and 35% said it is fine for adults to use it for any reason. 14% of those people said cannabis should not be used for any reason. Translated to the total population, this means 9% of Americans feel cannabis should not be used for any reason.