We reached out to our consumers during this unprecedented time in history to ask them some hard hitting questions about their consumption habits during the quarantine. We have received, at the time of writing, 360 responses to our survey and wanted to share some of the insights we have gained.
As well as tackling consumption habits, we also wanted to touch on consumption methods, ie. vaporizing, joints, bongs, oil vapes and the like, as well as when in the day people were consuming. We certainly noticed an increase in our vaporizer wholesale accounts with record high interest during the pandemic.
We also touch on the changing habits of consumption and our theory as to how this data will affect the future of cannabis.
Healthing.ca has written an article about how to manage consumption during quarantine which sheds some light on managing your consumption, but largely compares it to alcohol. We’re here to shed some light on actual cannabis consumers and their habits.
Our hypothesis is that users are consuming more cannabis during quarantine and more people have moved towards vaporizers as people are worried about the adverse health effects of consuming more. Respondents were given straightforward questions with a variety of answers to enable them to be as accurate as possible when replying.
Since quarantine how have your cannabis consumption habits changed?
The data suggests that 54% of those surveyed are consuming more cannabis during the pandemic, with only 5% consuming less.
Theo Zunich, CEO of YSS and Sweet Tree, commented, “In the short term it’s going to be a little bit of a shot in the arm for the growth of the sector.”
That is certainly true, as this will help the cannabis industry grow – being a relatively new industry, especially in Canada, this might be the push the industry needs to reach its full potential.
In the long term?
Matei Olaru, CEO of Lift & CO, commented, “maybe a little bit of a prediction (of the way the market will grow). I’d be curious if you could see new long term consumers come out of this.”
Since quarantine what is your preferred method to consume cannabis?
The key takeaway here is that vaporizer use jumped by approximately 30% while smoking took a dive of almost 57%. This is a pretty loaded piece of data, and I believe gives a lot of insight into how users choose their method of consumption.
Afzal Hasan, former President of Origin House, commented, “I think it’s natural, once you start to ramp up the amount that you are consuming that you’re just going to notice what that does to your body.”
Which we agree, especially when people are consuming more, they may consider switching to a less harmful alternative and choose a portable vaporizer.
If you changed the method in which you consume, why?
We also asked users why they changed their method. The biggest reason for people changing their consumption methods was concern about health – which Hasan touched on in the above quote.
But Matei Olaru, CEO of Lift & CO, expanded on that by saying, “I think it will accelerate things that were already happening, (i.e.) health conscious consumers…smoking’s been in a decline (for awhile now).”
Since quarantine how likely were you to use a vaporizer?
During quarantine people are 20% more likely to consider vaporization as a consumption method.
Not only does vaporizing help saves on costs, we actually did another survey on smoking vs vaporizing before the pandemic hit where people agreed that they felt vaporizers were less harmful.
This question pertains to people who haven’t made the switch yet, so as well as that 30% increase we saw in vaporizer use, we also see a 20% increase in people who want to make the switch.
There’s a Time and Place for Everything
Since quarantine where are you consuming cannabis?
Another possible reason for people moving from smoking towards vaporizing is the location of consumption. As the above graphic shows, indoor cannabis consumption saw a 9% increase during quarantine.
“I think it’s reflective of the fact that people are being responsible about staying home,” said Zunich.
Not everyone has a backyard or a balcony, and therefore it follows that instead of consuming outside, they are more likely to consume indoors. With less smell, a vaporizer or wax pen is an easy choice, and fits with the rest of the data we gathered.
Since quarantine what time do you consume the most?
Surprising to almost no one I’m sure, afternoon and morning cannabis use doubled over quarantine. This is one of the pieces of data we don’t think will continue long term.
“I would expect…as restrictions lift, consumption should go back to more regular patterns,” commented Olaru.
That being said, it’s an interesting time for medical patients who maybe felt the stigma of consuming at their workplace to see how operating without that stigma helps or hinders their work.
Where are you Acquiring Your Cannabis?
Since quarantine how are people accessing cannabis?
The biggest insight here is that the online legal marketplace became the choice for a majority of users looking to access cannabis during Covid-19, with a 13% increase, making up 40% of respondents.
This also follows with what we expected, as in some places, brick and mortar stores were deemed an essential service, then they were taken off that list, then put back on again – which drove most users to shop online. Not to mention the fact that they don’t have to leave their house to access their cannabis.
“It’s not a surprise to us that consumers are adapting quickly to a changed landscape, choosing online deliveries, and alternative options such as vapes and edibles instead of smoking cannabis. Interestingly enough, this shift coincides with many new Cannabis 2.0 products rolling out in the Canadian market, giving patients and consumers plenty to choose from,” said Tyler Robson, CEO of The Valens Company.
Post COVID-19 Social Practices
How likely are people to “share” their piece during a session after Covid-19?
No surprises here, 60% of respondents are not likely to share their “piece” with another during a session.
This makes total sense, as I think the general stance on touching the same object(s) after Covid-19 will go down, not to mention something that you inhale directly into your lungs.
How likely are people to host group sessions after Covid-19?
The key takeaway from our last question was that 50% of those surveyed are not likely to have friends over for group sessions after the pandemic.
In tandem with the question above, it follows that the people who will not share their “piece” are also not likely to host a group session.
We personally believe interactions between people in general are going to decrease, and again, especially in settings where you are sharing something that you put your mouth on.
From the survey we can determine that consumers are consuming more cannabis and the majority tend to be shifting towards vaporizers during COVID-19. It can only follow that this trend continues to climb after quarantine is over.
There are plenty of reasons to make the switch over to vaporizing, with the majority of those surveyed agreed that health concerns are the leading reason to make the change. We hypothesize that while that is the main reason for making the change, other people might be considering the switch due to indoor consumption, worries about smell and cost effectiveness.
Consumers are purchasing the majority of their product from online stores, which is a trend that may or may not continue after Covid-19 is over. Retailers, including YSS, have stated that they have already started to see a shift away from afternoon and morning purchases, which follows with the data we collected.
Vaporizer culture and indeed the cannabis industry as a whole is a growing phenomenon and we can expect to see changes in the stigma around cannabis, regardless of how you consume. As always, we hope that this study and future studies help inform the general public and shed light on certain perceptions surrounding cannabis in general and vaporizing specifically.
If you would like to learn more about vaporization, you can find our vaporizer guide here. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, we would love for you to weigh in and share your thoughts on this topic.