Québec Cannabis Survey 2021: The proportion of cannabis users has increased since 2018 and consumption habits have changed
Montréal, April 14, 2022. – The proportion of Quebecers who reported using cannabis during the year rose from 14% in 2018 to 20% in 2021. This increase concerned all age groups 25 and over, but not youth aged 15-17, among whom there was instead a decrease in the proportion of users, from 22% in 2018 to 19% in 2021.
Proportion of Quebecers who reported using cannabis in the 12 months prior to the survey by age group
a A superscript means there is a statistically significant difference between the years for the same age group.
Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec, Québec Cannabis Survey, 2018, 2019, 2021
The Institut de la statistique du Québec released today its report on the Québec Cannabis Survey (QCS) 2021. Conducted from February to June 2021 among Quebecers aged 15 and over, the third edition of the QCS examines, among other things, the prevalence and methods of cannabis use, sources of supply, and public perceptions towards cannabis.
Cannabis users and the pandemic
In 2021, nearly 72% of users reported no change in cannabis use due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while 24% said that their use had increased, and 3.7%, that it had decreased.
Changes in consumption habits
In 2021, smoking remained the method adopted by the largest proportion of cannabis users (85%), although it has declined in popularity since 2018 (96%). Between 2018 and 2021, there was an increase in the proportions of users who reported consuming cannabis orally by eating it, drinking it, ingesting it in the form of capsules or oral drops, vaping it, or vaporizing it.
Sources of supply
The proportion of users who obtained cannabis from an illegal supplier in the previous year has decreased significantly (from 32% in 2018 to 11% in 2021), as has the proportion of users who obtained it from a family member or friend (from 78% in 2018 to 42% in 2021). The proportion of users who reported sourcing cannabis from SQDC in the previous 12 months was 70% in 2021, indicating that SQDC has become a source of supply for a large proportion of consumers.
Perceptions of Quebecers towards cannabis
About 63% of Quebecers feel that it is socially acceptable to use cannabis occasionally for non-medical purposes. This proportion has increased since 2018 (48%). Compared with other age groups, a higher proportion of people aged 15-17 and 55 and over feel that occasional cannabis use is completely or somewhat unacceptable.
- Read the survey highlights (in French only).
- Read the full report (PDF, 2.39 MB) (in French only).
- View the infographic (in French only).
The Québec Cannabis Survey
The QCS, carried out by the Institut de la statistique du Québec on behalf of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, aims to measure changes in cannabis use. The first edition of the survey was conducted in 2018, prior to the legalization of cannabis. A second edition was carried out in 2019 to compare certain behaviours of Quebecers after legalization. QCS 2021, the third edition of the survey, tracks changes in the indicators measured before and after the implementation of the Cannabis Regulation Act, while taking into account the particular context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for conducting all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.
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