Of those surveyed, 35 percent responded saying that they use cannabis on a daily basis; with 37 percent considering themselves regular users of the drug.
Despite a steady rate of consumption, however, Canadians are showing significantly less interest in edibles now than before legalization came into force in October 2018.
While 46 percent of respondents in 2017 indicated that they would be likely to buy an edible cannabis product when they were legalized, the number has now dropped to only 36 percent. A total of 70 percent of Canadian cannabis users (which accounts for approximately 26 percent of the general population), reported having tried an edible at least once.
“We were surprised to see that Canadians are actually less enthusiastic about edibles since cannabis became legal last fall,” Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, an agricultural researcher at Dalhousie, said in a statement.
But although edibles were much-touted pre-legalization as a safer, sans-lung-damage alternative to smoking or vaping, an increase in negative media coverage surrounding the products may have Canadians thinking twice about snacking on sativa.
Earlier this week, the RCMP put out a now-deleted press release detailing a Halifax raid in which they confiscated Lego-shaped blocks of cannabis product they said contained 500 mg of THC. The statement caused controversy when they alleged the dose was enough to potentially kill a child (they have since retracted the statement).
Other stories of edibles leading to seniors experiencing heart attacks, hospitalized children, increases in cannabis poisonings, police statements, and cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) have dampened Canadians’ interest in the products. A total of 60 percent of respondents expressed concerns that the intoxicating effects of the drug might be too intense if consumed via edible.
That goes for drinks, too. Despite the recent buzz around cannabis beverages (and a newly-formed lobbying group), the survey indicates that Canadians aren’t quite ready to trade wine for weed. Over 40 percent of those surveyed said that they do not consider cannabis and alcohol as being “interchangeable” in their household, and only 15.8 percent stating that they would swap an edible cannabis product for their usual alcoholic beverage of choice.
Younger respondents seemed more comfortable cooking with the drug (which is legal), as were those with more disposable income.
“People are interested in cooking with marijuana, but they don’t yet know how,” says Charlebois. “However, younger people and those from higher-income households are more likely to feel confident in their abilities.”
The survey has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
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