A new U.S. study shows that more and more people are giving up alcohol and pharmaceuticals in favour of cannabis use.
The groundbreaking study conducted by New Frontier Data surveyed over 3,000 adult Americans to show people from all age groups and demographics in the U.S. are moving away from alcohol and pharmaceuticals in favour of cannabis use.
Taking cannabis user archetypes beyond the traditional medical/recreational binary, the study developed nine distinct cannabis consumer profiles and looked at their use of alcohol, pharmaceuticals and cannabis to gain greater insight into the full spectrum of consumer values, lifestyles and behaviours.
From older users to young, the nine distinct consumer profiles are a fascinating insight into just how diverse cannabis culture truly is – and it’s fun to try and spot yourself and the stoners you know in each category. Among the senior crowd, there are Infrequent conservatives (older recreational users who only use cannabis a few times a year for relaxation purposes) as well as Silver Dabblers (older bachelors who typically live alone and use cannabis a few times a month to unwind). There are also Discreet Unwinders, who are classified as mothers of adult children who are lifelong users and believe in the medical capabilities of the drug.
In the younger group, Functional Dependents are described as young party-goer cannabis enthusiasts who typically spend at least $100 a month on the drug. While Medical Purists are also regular users, they are more likely to use cannabis alone for medical and wellness purposes.
The largest consumer type was Social Opportunists, which described those of us who use cannabis a few times a year, mostly in social group settings such as a night out with friends or at a party.
Among the nine consumer profiles, the study showed that cannabis is quickly displacing the use alcohol and pharmaceuticals across all ages and demographics. An overwhelming majority of participants believed that cannabis should be fully legal, including recreational cannabis. 73% responded that they would be more likely to use cannabis if it was legalized.
Medical Cannabis Over Opioids
Looking at the topic of medical cannabis, 84% of consumers who participated in the study believed that cannabis has legitimate medical uses. Among users of medical cannabis, a whopping 94% said that the drug had improved their medical conditions, and many were able to partially reduce their prescription drug intake or replace it altogether. 73% of medical cannabis users said that they used cannabis as a substitute for other medicines, while 41% used it as a replacement for over-the-counter painkillers. 48% had replaced prescription pain medication with medical cannabis, showing that many people are turning away from traditional painkillers in response to the devastating opioid epidemic ravaging the United States.
Decreasing Alcohol Use
74% of consumers agreed that cannabis is safer than alcohol, while only 4% disagreed. Among participants who drank alcohol, 46% said they preferred cannabis to alcohol 28% enjoyed both in equal amounts. Almost half of drinkers said they were likely to replace at least some of their alcohol consumption with cannabis in the future, at 46%.