Cannabis-infused drinks replacing booze for many U.S. pot users: survey

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

Driven in part by cannabis-infused drinks, a growing number of U.S. marijuana users are replacing alcohol with weed.

A recent study found almost half of U.S. cannabis users have replaced some of their alcohol use with marijuana.

The study, Cannabis & Wellness: A New Consumer Paradigm, found that 16 per cent of cannabis users had turned to the drug as a replacement for alcohol, while nearly half of those surveyed had replaced some alcohol use with cannabis.

The report states substituting cannabis for alcohol has increased gradually as cannabis became more available and socially acceptable especially in circumstances where alcohol had previously been the only acceptable option.

"As legal access to infused beverages expands, alcohol replacement may become more successful for consumers who find smoking, vaping, or eating cannabis as unsuitable replacements for the act of drinking a beverage," the report states.


The report published by New Frontier Data states cannabis consumption among college students reached its highest level in more than 35 years in 2020 while alcohol consumption among students was significantly lower compared to the year before.

The reports found 58 per cent of cannabis users did so for recreational purposes, while 42 per cent used weed for medical purposes – a seven per cent increase since 2018.

Of those that used cannabis for medical purposes, 35 per cent used marijuana purely for medical reasons, with the remaining 65 per cent saying they used cannabis for "primarily" medical reasons.

The study found medical cannabis users consumed marijuana for a variety of health reasons ranging from anxiety and arthritis to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and chronic fatigue.

The vast majority (41 per cent) used cannabis to deal with anxiety. Arthritis and pain were cited as the main reason for using cannabis by 29 per cent of medical uses, while 18 per cent used cannabis because of insomnia.

Of people that cannabis for medical reasons 95 per cent said their condition had improved, with just over half saying it had improved "significantly."

The report also found some surprising details regarding fitness and cannabis.

"The longstanding prohibition-era stereotype of the unhealthy, sedentary stoner is being challenged as more consumers become open about how they use cannabis," the report reads. "An April 2021 study found that current cannabis consumers engaged in more physical activity than did people who were not consumers."

The combination of cannabis and exercise was dramatically higher in younger people than those over 55  years old with 13 per cent of 35- to 44-year-olds saying they consumed cannabis to "improve" exercise and fitness training.

For cannabis consumers over 55 years old, only two per cent took cannabis before exercising.

After consuming cannabis the number one fitness activity for women was yoga or pilates, while for men it was weightlifting.

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