Marijuana usage and its potency have been increasing globally over the past decade. While some individuals can use cannabis without harm, the potential adverse consequences are numerous.
Users are at risk of weed abuse, addiction, or withdrawal, leading to a condition called cannabis use disorder (CUD). Young adult males aged 18-25 are especially at risk1.
of U.S. persons have used cannabis in the last 12 months.
Marijuana Usage is Increasing Globally
Weed use is on the rise throughout the world, creating a significant burden on society and on the healthcare system in particular. The demand for health services to support marijuana cessation has increased in parallel with rising patterns of use and dependence.
In 2016, weed was used by an estimated 192 million people worldwide, approximately 4% of the global population aged 15-64. This is a 16% increase in prevalence since 2006.
In North America, among the population aged 15-64 years old, weed use increased from 40.5 million in 2006 to 52.9 million in 2016. This increase was most pronounced in the U.S., where annual prevalence of marijuana use is 13.9% of the population aged 12 years and older2. Comparatively high levels of marijuana use have also been reported in Canada, where weed use in the past year was reported by 14.7% of the population aged 15 years and older in 2015, up from 9.1% in 2011.
Increases in use occurred across all genders, regions, and educational and employment statuses, with higher rates seen in males and unemployed individuals3.
As the total number of marijuana users has increased, so has the pattern of consumption. In the U.S., the number of daily or almost daily users of marijuana doubled between 2006 and 2016 and the number of past month users increased by 60%. These changes in weed use are taking place at a time when perception of risk associated with cannabis is on the decline, while legalization of its recreational use is also spreading throughout the U.S. and globally.
Weedless.org is a free, web-based resource and community created by a team of healthcare professionals and researchers. We distill the facts about marijuana use and its effects into practical guidance for interested persons or for those who are thinking about or struggling to quit weed. Finding reliable, easy to understand information about marijuana should never be a struggle—that is why our core mission is to provide the most up to date information about marijuana use, abuse, addiction, and withdrawal. While we seek to empower individuals to have control over their use, we are not “anti-weed” and we support efforts to legalize adult marijuana use and study.