Men close to twice as likely to use cannabis than women in Canada: StatsCan

Aug 16 2019, 10:06 am

Of the close to five million Canadians that reported using cannabis over the past three months, nearly twice as many were males over females, according to figures released by Statistics Canada on Thursday as part of their quarterly National Cannabis Survey.

Their survey found 21% of males were “almost twice as likely” to have used the drug during the first half of 2019 compared to females (12%). This number is out of the roughly 16% of the Canadian population the agency says reported using cannabis.

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The divide between pot usage in the sexes was consistent for every age group except seniors aged 65 and older, who figures show a 6.8% rate of use in men and 3.4% in woman, making it an even doubling.

Data from the first half of 2019 also reveals that 8% of males were twice as likely to engage in daily or almost daily use compared to only 4% of females. Males were also more likely than females to consume cannabis on a weekly and a monthly basis. Both sexes reported a consistent amount of occasional use.

“About one-third of Canadians (males and females) reported having tried cannabis in the past but are not current users,” the agency wrote in their findings.

StatsCan also says that close to three out of five females (59%) reported never having used cannabis in any form, compared to over half of males (51%).

Some of the most interesting divisions come from why and how the sexes choose to use cannabis differently, as well as where they obtain it.

When it comes to recreation vs medical use, women reported an even sharing of non-medical, medical, and mixed use. Conversely, 52% of men reported their use was for non-medical reasons, 30% reported using for both medical and non-medical reasons, and “about one-fifth reported medical reasons (with or without medical documentation).”

Dried cannabis (flower/leaf) and hashish are more commonly used by males than by females

More than three-quarters (77%) of participants reported using cannabis during the first half of 2019 consumed dried cannabis, 26% used edibles, 20% used liquid concentrates, 19% used cannabis oil cartridges or vape pens, and 16% hashish or kief.

Dried cannabis — the buds — was extremely popular among males. A total of 82% of men reported using dried cannabis, compared to 67% of females. “Males (19%) were also more likely to have consumed hashish or kief, compared with females (12%),” StatsCan wrote. In total, 49% of males only used dried flower compared to 41% of females.

Conversely, females (23%) were almost twice as likely as males (12%) to report using only products other than dried cannabis (flower/leaf). Other products include edibles, oil cartridges and vape pens.

The survey found that smoking remains the most common method of consuming cannabis, with over two-thirds of males (68%) and female (62%) users choosing to light up over anything else.

And while just under half (48%) of cannabis users reported using a legal store for some of their purchases, close to one-quarter of Canadians who consumed cannabis so far in 2019 report not having paid for it to StatsCan, with “female consumers (29%) more likely than males (22%) to consume it without having paid for it.”