Cannabis Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada: A Repeated Cross-sectional Study

J Addict Med. 2021 Nov-Dec;15(6):484-490. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000798.


Objectives: In the context of the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic in Canada, we aimed to (1) characterize trends in cannabis use in the overall population; and (2) characterize patterns of and identify risk characteristics associated with an increase in cannabis use among those who used cannabis.

Methods: Data were obtained from three waves of an online, repeated cross-sectional survey of adults residing in Canada (May 08-June 23, 2020; N = 3012). Trends were assessed using Cochran-Armitage and chi-square tests, and risk characteristics were identified using logistic regression analyses.

Results: Cannabis use in the overall population remained stable during the months of May and June. Among those who used cannabis, about half increased their cannabis use compared to before the start of the pandemic. This proportion of an increase in cannabis use among those who used cannabis remained consistent across the survey waves. Risk characteristics associated with higher odds of an increase in cannabis use included residence in the central region (Odds ratio, 95% confidence intervals: 1.93, 1.03-3.62), being 18 to 29 years old (2.61, 1.32-5.17) or 30 to 49 years old (1.85, 1.07-3.19), having less than college or university education (1.86, 1.13-3.06) and being somewhat worried about the pandemic's impact on personal finances (1.73, 1.00-3.00).

Conclusions: A large proportion of those who used cannabis have increased cannabis use during the pandemic, suggesting a need for interventions to limit increased cannabis use, policy measures to address cannabis-attributable harms, and continued monitoring of cannabis use during and after the pandemic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cannabis*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Young Adult