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Who Is Smoking Weed in the US? Insights From Gallup & Government



Well before legalizations I was smoking weed, and so was a very large part of the population I came into contact with; though its illegal status meant less admitting to this. In fact, it’s been the most popular drug for so long, it’s funny to see research talking about it like a new trend. People have always been smoking weed, but now that its more socially acceptable, its okay to talk about it. So, to give an idea of who is smoking weed in the US (now that people are being more open), here’s some info to provide new insights, from both Gallup and the government.

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Where is this data coming from?

Before getting into the numbers, let’s first examine where the following information is coming from. It’s great to know that a lot of people smoke, but when it comes to informational breakdowns, it requires a lot of information collection. One of the biggest organizations to collect and publish data on consumer opinions, is the company Gallup.

You’ve probably heard the term ‘Gallup poll’, because they’re used for all kinds of data collection, and get published frequently to help shed light on a subject for the general public. Gallup polls are conducted through the US analytics company Gallup, Inc., which hails out of Washington, DC. Gallup conducts all sorts of opinion polls, both in the US, and abroad.

The polls are all carried out via telephone interviews. The numbers called create random samples, and any number with a working exchange can be used, including unlisted numbers. As with any poll, its hard to imagine they’ll ever be 100% right on, but have through the years provided a level of consistency in accuracy that makes them useful tools for gauging public opinion.

Survey - Who is smoking weed in US
Survey – Who is smoking weed in US

It should be remembered, however, that its easy to hang up on a person calling for a poll, and many people will simply never take part in one, while others relish the opportunity. Plus, plenty of people don’t answer calls they’re unfamiliar with; and some populations, like the homeless, are less likely to have a number at all. These surveys are useful, but only as good as who picks up and feels like responding.

However, Gallup polls are interesting because they’re not based on governments looking for information, and have more of an independent appeal. This can mean less slant in the outcome, and more reason for impartiality. Having said that, other organizations, including government organizations, also provide compiled data on topics like drug use.

Which is expected to provide a better answer? It’s hard to say. A lot of recent information comes from the Monitoring the Future panel study, which was conducted via the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, and which received its funding through the National Institutes of Health’s NIDA, making it a government study. How does non-government Gallup data compare to the government version? Read on to find out.

Current Gallup data on who is smoking weed in the US

It’s easy to say, ‘everyone is doing it’, but that’s not true. And sometimes its nice to see an actual breakdown of exactly who is, and who isn’t (or, at least, as exact as possible). The first thing to know, is that the first time Gallup ever asked this question in the US, it was back in 1969, and at that time, only 4% admitted to having used marijuana. Now, this represents a possible limitation, in that at a time when there was a strong social stigma against it, it might have been harder to get people to be honest…even if it was anonymous polls.

What’re the most recent Gallup numbers? As of 2021, up to 49% of respondants said they’d used cannabis. Says director of U.S. social research for the company, Lydia Saad, “In the next few years, we should see that crossing 50 percent.”

What else has Gallup found about marijuana usage among Americans? Well for one thing, apparently if you’ve got a Masters degree, you’re only a third as likely to smoke marijuana a those who only have a standard college degree or less. And as it might seem obvious just by which states were the first to adopt recreational policies, democrats have shown to be twice as likely to toke up as republicans. In the same vein, those who see themselves as liberals, apparently use marijuana almost 4X as much as those who see themselves as conservatives.

Weed polling data
Weed polling data

Gallup polls also indicate that men have been more likely to use than women throughout the years. How much more? At apparently a nearly 2:1 ratio. However, this gap has steadily been closing in more recent years, and in the young adult category, it almost doesn’t exist at all anymore.

Gallup polls have shown another interesting point. While they look at opinion, they tend to also look at who has that opinion. What its polling shows, is that though some people (as much as 50%) still have a negative view on cannabis, that negative view comes primarily from those who don’t, and have often never, used it. Those who do use it see it as beneficial for both individuals and society (70% and 66% respectively).

Those who never used it, see it as beneficial on both those levels at only 35% and 27% respectively, with much higher numbers in the not-beneficial category (62% and 72% respectively). This says quite a bit about knowing the thing you’re making a judgment about, and how not knowing about something, can easily lead to fear of it.

Current Monitoring the Future Panel study info on who is smoking weed in the US

So we saw a little bit of what Gallup had to say, now what about what the government compiled? According to this data, about 2/5 of young adults say they use cannabis at least sometimes. Remember how it used to be mainly men smoking? Well, part of the rise, is the catching up of the female population. The young adult category is comprised of those 19-30, and the comparison comes from looking at 2021 data, next to data from both five and 10 years ago.

The data also points to a another interesting factor.Take Vermont, for example. When it comes to young adult users, you actually now have a greater number than non-users. As in, for the 19-30 category, more people in that location now use cannabis, than don’t use it. This is getting close to the case in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, DC as well.

In terms of past-year, past-month and daily cannabis use (20+ occasions in past month), 2021 had the highest levels since the question began being looked into in 1988. Past month usage reached as high as 29%. Five years ago it was 21%, and 10 years ago it was 17%. In terms of daily use? 11% met the standard for 2021, whereas only 8% did five years ago, and 6% 10 years ago.

Weed legalization in the US
Weed legalization in the US

Another interesting factor? While alcohol continues to be the #1 drug of choice, it has steadily been going down in usage. This was seen in past-year, past-month, and daily drinking trends, which have all gone down in the last decade. This isn’t as clear cut as it sounds however, as high intensity drinking (10+ drinks in a row), has gone up. Does this indicate that party drinking is still a thing, while non-party drinking is growing less popular? Hard to say exactly. Just like its hard to say if this is directly correlated to rising cannabis use.

And another growing trend according to this data? The use of hallucinogens. According to the data, these numbers have also grown quite a bit in the last decade. The 2021 numbers show 8% for this category, up from 5% five years ago, and 3% 10 years ago. Should we expect these numbers to skyrocket up as well in the next few years, as more states legalize hallucinogenic drugs? Certainly seems like it with an Oregon legalization of magic mushrooms, access to MDMA and psilocybin in Connecticut, and a pre-emptive MDMA legalization in Colorado, along with a ballot measure for legal use of entheogenic plants.


Who is smoking weed in the US? Well, according to both Gallup and government data, a large and growing section of the population, particularly in the young adult category. Which is more accurate? It kind of doesn’t matter. The trend shows the same through both sets of data, with a general upward trajectory in overall usage. Imagine what these numbers will look like in another few years, especially considering five more states are up for legalizations this election season, including southern states which were previously holdouts.

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What Is A Jamaican Steam Chalice? And Should You Try Smoking Weed Out Of One?




Although smoking marijuana is widespread throughout the world, Jamaica has one of the most profoundly rooted cannabis cultures. The Rastafari, a 20th-century movement that reveres marijuana as a sacred plant, originated in Jamaica. They believe that smoking marijuana fosters calm, love, and depths of reflection and medication that can serve as a gateway to the divine.

Suppose you’re looking for more conventional ways to enjoy cannabis, or you’re tired of your regular routine. In that case, you should try burning with a Jamaican steam chalice. These organic devices are said to be the first and original vaporizers. The steam chalice, which originated with the Rastafari faith in Jamaica, vaporizes weed using bamboo sticks, coconuts, and hot coals instead of electricity.

cannabis marijuana flower
Photo by Yarygin/Getty Images

The steam chalice may be used by contemporary non-Rastafaris for various reasons. There are several methods to consume weed, but burning plant material harms the lungs. Hence, many cannabis consumers are switching to alternative forms of use, such as edibles, drinks, and—increasingly—vaporizers.

Why not choose the Jamaican steam chalice, which has the most heritage and personality, if you’re going to smoke a vape? It’s a one-of-a-kind, highly potent, spiritually charged way of consuming weed.

What Is a Steam Chalice?

The Jamaican steam chalice is a traditional method of inhaling cannabis, although it is distinct from other conventional methods. Why? Because it does not burn the flower but rather “steams” it. The steam chalice could be considered the earliest vaporizer. This method of inhaling weed, similar to modern vapes, frees up terpenes and cannabinoids without generating as many potentially toxic byproducts as combustion.

Surprisingly, the steam chalice combines all significant elements: fire, air, water, and earth. Looking at the components, steam chalices are made up of four essential parts:

Coconut: The steam chalice’s main component is a coconut. It is comparable to the bong’s chamber. Its water content aids in filtering the vapour that is produced from the bowl to produce smoother hits. When holding and smoking a steam chalice, the coconut acts as the “handle.”

Cutchie: A cutchie is a clay pipe that resembles a sizable bong bowl. This part of the steam chalice supports the flower over the downstem. It keeps it out of the heated temperatures when THC and other phytonutrients are released from the charcoal.

Bamboo tubes: The downstem and the mouthpiece of a steam chalice are made of two bamboo tubes. In contrast to typical bongs, this one has a downstem and bowl positioned precisely above the chamber and a mouthpiece extending from the coconut’s side.

Gritty: This essential clay grate rests above the flower and has many tiny holes. It limits direct contact and burning of the plant material while acting as a base for the burning of charcoal.

Now that you’re acquainted with steam chalices and their components, it’s time to learn how to handle one.

What is a steam chalice for smoking weed

How to Use a Steam Chalice

Mastering the steam chalice can take a few tries, especially if you’re a dedicated joint smoker. Even if you’re used to working with massive and complex glass bongs, a Jamaican steam chalice will undoubtedly feel strange in your hands at first.

We’ve included some simple instructions below to help you get started with this vintage piece of equipment. Follow them carefully for an easy introduction to this innovative cannabis use.

RELATED: What Is A Chillum?

Fill the coconut with water first before doing anything else. The mouthpiece can be pulled from the coconut’s side to accomplish this. After that, add water below the orifice before reinstalling the bamboo mouthpiece. Take a bare tear. The sound that comes out should closely resemble the bong’s bubbling. If you don’t hear that distinctive sound, the water content of the coconut is either too high or too low.

The cutchie needs to be filled with herbs next. However, traditional cutchies link to the downstem through significantly larger holes in the bottom. So, to prevent flowers from falling into the chalice, many chalice users put in the part or whole torn buds. If you’d instead grind your bud, cover the hole with a large enough sheet of metal gauze before adding the flower.

Put the gritty in the cutchie after it has been filled. Depending on your type, some cutchies have a lip where you can insert the gritty to keep it from touching the herb below.

steam chalice
Photo by Nigel SB Photography via Unsplash

At this stage, things become even more unusual. You’re undoubtedly used to flicking the lighter or vape button before inhaling. You’ll find yourself grabbing into a bag of coal instead when using a cannabis chalice. Fill the top chamber of the cutchie with adequate charcoal. Then, use a blowtorch lighter to light the pieces. You’re ready to go when the charcoal chunks are steadily burning.

RELATED: Kratom Vs. Cannabis: What You Should Know

Now comes the exciting part. In the same way, you would hit a pipe or bong, place your finger over the coconut’s shotgun hole and hit the steam chalice. To clear the coconut, let go of your finger at the end of every hit. You’ll feel a clean, terpene-rich, and slightly vegetal flavor; keep in mind you’re vaping weed, not burning it.

You’ll need to wash your cutchie at the end of the operation. Remove the hot charcoal pieces with care and empty the steamed cannabis. Pour the water from the coconut and save your marijuana chalice for later use. Use a couple of pipe cleaners to clean the inside of the bamboo sticks every now and then.


Thinking of owning a Jamaican steam chalice? An expertly designed smoking chalice will be easy to buy online. However, if you’re thinking of executing a do-it-yourself project, you’ll get a pretty good understanding of how to build one from scratch by watching a YouTube video or two.

This article originally appeared on and has been reposted with permission.

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Does Marijuana Legalization Increase Teen Use? New Study Has Answers





A federally funded study has found no correlation between marijuana legalization and cannabis use among teens, which is relief for marijuana enthusiasts. At the same time, this study, which was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has poked holes in the theory that’s often fronted by legalization opponents — that legalization will increase teen consumption of marijuana.

Currently, adult-use marijuana is legal in 21 states and DC. Maryland and Missouri joined this list through the midterm elections that happened barely a month ago.

teens high school
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, reviewed data collected from three longitudinal studies relating to use of cannabis among teens in New York, Oregon, and Washington between 1999 to 2021. The researchers found that teens in states that have legalized cannabis are not any more likely to abuse cannabis than teens in states that have not legalized cannabis.

RELATED: Does Marijuana Legalization Increase Alcohol Use? A New Study Might Surprise You

Though preliminary, the results from this study offer a glimmer of hope that marijuana legalization could have more benefit than harm to offer. Study author Jennifer Bailey has, however, advised cautious optimism, saying, “Although things look encouraging now, as we note in our paper, alcohol use increased slowly over 40 years after the end of alcohol prohibition.”  

This article originally appeared on and has been reposted with permission.

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Does CBD Modulate THC? No, Says Study – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana




Does CBD modulate the effects of THC? No, says a new study.

For years, both experience and research have indicated that CBD has a mitigating effect when consumed with THC.

For example, budtenders suggest a THC-strain balanced with CBD for new consumers to avoid overwhelming them.

When an experienced stoner has eaten an edible or taken some oil and feels too high – they use CBD to take the edge off.

But a recent study suggests this is all placebo.

How Could CBD Modulate THC?

CBD Modulate THC

More extensive studies will conclusively determine if CBD modulates THC. But for now, we’ll have to rely on conflicting research and anecdotal experiences.

CBD and THC have drastically different effects. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the most famous of all cannabis compounds. THC binds to our cannabinoid receptors to produce the “high” feeling.

CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t directly bind to our cannabinoid receptors. It is more like a psychedelic in that it targets the serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, which we find primarily in our stomach.

CBD also prolongs the life span of our endogenous cannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG).

These endogenous cannabinoids bind to our cannabinoid receptors. Researchers figure that because CBD inhibits the breakdown of anandamide in the cannabinoid one receptor, THC can’t fully bind and thus has a muted effect.

Research performed under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions suggested CBD can reduce the unpleasant effects of THC.

Other research disputes this. But what about this new study?

Does CBD Modulate THC? No, Says Study


According to the latest study no, CBD does not modulate the effects of THC. Published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacologythis randomized, double-blind cross-over trial was thorough.

Researchers recruited 46 healthy volunteers ranging from 21 to 50 years old. They’d used cannabis before but not more than once per week during the previous year. Researchers asked them to inhale cannabis vapour containing 10mg of THC combined with different levels of CBD. 

So per experiment, they consumed a 10:0 ratio, then a balanced 10:10 ratio, followed by 10:20, and then 10:30. In other words, by the last experiment, participants were inhaling more CBD per milligram than THC. 

After each experiment, the researchers asked the participants to complete a set of tasks. Researchers measured “psychotic symptoms,” including “cognitive, subjective, pleasurable, pharmacological and physiological effects.”

For example, THC is associated with delayed verbal recall. The study said CBD did not improve those scores.

The study concludes, “There was no evidence of CBD modulating the effects of THC on other cognitive, psychotic, subjective, pleasurable, and physiological measures.”

Even going further to suggest, “This should be considered in health policy and safety decisions about medicinal and recreational cannabis.”

Yet, did this study conclusively determine these results? Even the authors admit their research can only go so far without a placebo-controlled group.

To suggest that “no evidence that CBD protects against the acute adverse effects of cannabis,” while other double-blind clinical trials have shown otherwise, indicates more to the story.

Building a CBD Tolerance 

CBD Modulate THC

This latest study suggested that CBD does not modulate the effects of THC in the short term. But what about the long term?

Cannabis connoisseurs know about tolerance. If you smoke weed daily, you build up a tolerance to THC. You can take a few days off and let your cannabinoid receptors reset. When you return to the herb, you’ll feel the effects more with less.

CBD might work the opposite way. It may promote receptor sensitivity, meaning you need less over time.

CBD may also reestablish homeostatic levels (bringing balance to your endocannabinoid system). So while it may give the impression it’s not doing anything, CBD is working with your system without producing the “psychotic symptoms,” of THC. 

At least one study suggests the longer you use CBD, the lower dosages you’ll need. Which is another way of saying: you need to build up some CBD in your system before it can work. 

With that in mind, how accurate was this new study? A short-term look at people inhaling THC-CBD vapour after a year of virtually no consumption?

And no placebo-controlled group, to boot.

Yet, these researchers want their inconclusive opinions “considered in health policy and safety decisions” about cannabis.

The Problem With the “CBD Doesn’t Modulate THC” Study

Langara College grant

Of course, the apparent problem with this “CBD doesn’t modulate THC” study is its short-term aspect, the lack of a placebo group, and the cannabis delivery method.

Cannabis is a complex plant, and if you consume THC or CBD through edibles, the body will process the cannabinoids differently.

Same for plant extracts. Were the volunteers of this study taking THC and CBD isolates in vape format? Or were these full-spectrum products containing other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN?

What would result if a participant ate 10mg of CBD edibles for two weeks straight and then smoked a one-gram joint with 25% THC? And what if we paired them with a participant who didn’t consume CBD two weeks prior? 

This is why more research is needed before inconclusive results should be “considered” in government policy. 

But the big problem with the “CBD doesn’t modulate THC” study comes down to bias.

The study says, “Cannabis users may reduce harms when using a higher CBD:THC ratio, due to the reduced THC exposure rather than the presence of CBD.”

Throughout the paper, the researchers engage in a priori extremism by labelling THC “harmful” without further discussion. It’s one of the biases built into the study. And we saw it earlier by referring to THC’s effects as “psychotic symptoms.”

But what evidence links cannabis, particularly the effects of THC, to “psychotic symptoms?”

When we consume THC, we don’t become “psychotic.” We get high. We become stoned. The fact that they didn’t use a neutral, scientific term to describe THC’s effects brings the entire paper into question.

Not to mention, English and Australian universities funded this study. Two countries not exactly known for their legal recreational cannabis markets. (Even their medical program is strictly controlled and absurdly risk-averse).

Furthermore, we have conclusive, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that prove that CBD reduces anxiety. And since higher concentrations of THC cause anxiety in some people, it’s no surprise we have past studies indicating that CBD modulates the effects of THC. 

What Did This Study Prove?

CBD Modulate THC

The problem with this “CBD doesn’t modulate THC” study is its bias and limited scope. They created a category of “psychotic symptoms.” Then they tested this theory on a small group of participants in the short term without any placebo-controlled group.

It may be that CBD isn’t the modulating agent we think it is. Further studies may validate the conclusions of this study. 

But further research is needed. Governments destroyed nutrition science in the 20th century by accepting half-baked theories and biased research as proven facts.

With cannabis legalization sweeping the world, we cannot allow the same thing to happen to cannabinoid-based therapies. 

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