Canadians Believe Sugar More Harmful Than Cannabis

TORONTO, April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Just in time for 4/20 or World Cannabis Day, DIG Insights, a leading global research firm, has released findings from an extensive research initiative on marijuana use in North America encompassing public attitudes on usage, legalization and much more.

“Our goal was to create a custom research study that would serve as a benchmark for the growing Cannabis industry, legislators and other interested parties,” said Rory McGee, research director, DIG Insights, Inc. “What we are seeing is the law to legalize marijuana in Canada couldn’t come soon enough. Perceptions and attitudes about marijuana use have become more relaxed. The fact that Canadians see marijuana use as less harmful than sugar and fat suggests that old stereotypes no longer ring true.”

Only 18% of Canadians believe Marijuana is “very harmful”, which is lower than alcohol (19%), processed sugar (25%) and saturated fat (33%). A majority (51%) believes consumption can be beneficial, while only 33% believe that regular users are less successful in life. However, 29% report having a close friend or family member whose life was negatively affected by marijuana.

Cannabis Study

Among the findings, approximately 1 out of every 4 Canadians (24%) have used recreational marijuana in the past year and an additional 19% would potentially use it if it became legal.  Usage is highest among people aged 18-34 (34%), those who are making less than $60K (30%), and Quebecers (38%). Nearly 12% of men aged 18-34 report smoking marijuana daily.
Those who currently use marijuana report they do so to help them relax (24%) or reduce stress/anxiety (18%).  Interestingly, while smoking remains the most common form of consumption, 39% have tried edibles, indicating a growing market opportunity for producers. Younger users are also more likely to have tried Vaping.

When people are high they are most likely to watch television (43%), listen to music (38%), eat (33%), socialize (32%) or drink alcohol (28%).  Younger people were less likely to combine marijuana with alcohol as compared to those over 35.

Almost half of Canadians get their marijuana by purchasing it directly (48%), while others consume what they get from others (27%), and 24% report having a friend or family member purchase it on their behalf.  Those that purchase typically buy a quarter ounce or less. The average price is $7/gram. Despite not yet being legal, 15% purchase at dispensaries. Most (45%), however, purchase at someone’s residence. A large majority (80%) report feeling very safe when purchasing marijuana and over half say they’re never concerned about police intervention.


The majority of Canadians (56%) support legalization, and support is highest among men (61%), particularly younger men (82%), and Millennials overall (68%). Among current users, 18% say they are likely to consume more marijuana after it’s legalized.

For more information or to order a copy of the report on the marijuana market in the USA or Canada, email

About the Study:
Dig Insights Inc., a market research firm based in Toronto, Canada, conducted this study on Marijuana usage and attitudes. Responses were collected online between April 3 and 7, 2017. The survey sampled n=1,108 Canadians and n=1,105 Americans aged 18-65 sourced from Research Now’s leading panel. Results have been weighted to reflect census proportions for age, gender and region in both countries. The margins of error are +/- 2.9% in each country.

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SOURCE DIG Insights, Inc.