Study Finds 1 in 4 Adults in America Used Cannabis in Past Year

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Quite a few adults in the United States have consumed marijuana in the past year. This is according to a new study published in the journal BMJ Open and epublished by the U.S. National Institute of Health. The study is titled Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the changes in marijuana use in the USA, 2005-2018.

According to the study, almost one our of every four adults who live in the United States say that they have consumed marijuana in the past year. For the study researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center examined marijuana use from a nationally representative sample of over 35,000 US adults. They found that “Overall, 53.5 percent of the US adult population reported ever using marijuana between 2005 and 2018. The prevalence of lifetime marijuana use, and first use before the age of 18, remained stable between 2005 and 2018. Overall 22.6 percent of US adults reported using marijuana within the last year.”

The full abstract can be found below:

Objectives Understanding trends of marijuana use in the USA throughout a period of particularly high adoption of marijuana-legalisation, and understanding demographics most at risk of use, is important in evolving healthcare policy and intervention. This study analyses the demographic-specific changes in the prevalence of marijuana use in the USA between 2005 and 2018.

Design, setting and participants A 14-year retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database, a publicly available biennially collected national survey, weighted to represent the entire US population. A total of 35 212 adults between 18 and 69 years old participated in the seven-cycles of surveys analysed (2005–2018).

Primary outcome measured Lifetime use, first use before 18 years old, and past-year use of marijuana.

Results The majority of adults reported ever using marijuana. While the overall prevalence of lifetime marijuana use remained stable (p=0.53), past-year use increased significantly between 2005 and 2018 (p<0.001) with highest rate of past-year use among younger age groups (p<0.001), males (p<0.001) and those with income below poverty level (p<0.001). Past-year use was the most common among non-Hispanic blacks, and less common among Hispanic/Mexican populations (p<0.002). Trends in past-year use increased among all age categories, males/females, all ethnicities, those with high school education/above, and those at all income levels (p<0.01 for all).

Conclusions While lifetime marijuana use remained stable, past-year use significantly increased between 2005 and 2018. While past-year use remained the most common in younger age groups, males, non-Hispanic blacks and those with lower income; increasing trends in past-year use were significant for all age, sex, race and income categories, and for those with high school education/above. With high adoption of marijuana-legalisation laws during this period, our results suggest an associated increase in past-year marijuana use.

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