The annual UNODC World Drug Report has a bunch of nuggets about cannabis consumption, including the fact that there are 209 million global cannabis users.
Cannabis is still the most used drug in the world, and the covid lockdowns only helped the drug become more popular.
Legalization in the U.S. has also accelerated adoption and use of the drug, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2022 World Drug Report, the group’s first annual report in what it calls a “post-pandemic world.”
“UNODC research has shown that perceptions of cannabis harms have decreased in areas where the drug has been legalized,” Ghada Waly, the UNODC executive director said.
But at the same time, the firm says that about 40% of countries reported cannabis as the drug related to the greatest number of drug use disorders.
“However, as cannabis is the most prevalent substance in most countries, it can cause a relatively high number of drug use disorders and related treatment requests, even though it has a relatively lower potential to create dependency,” the report said.
Overall there were 209 million cannabis users in 2020, but less than a third of the people who used cannabis were women. Women represented 42% of smokers in North America and 34% of smokers in West and Central Europe.
While opioid use remained largely stable during the pandemic, global cannabis and amphetamine use jumped since 2020. Trends for cocaine and ecstasy reversed, going lower since the pandemic, according to the report.
While people are consuming more cannabis, none of the countries reporting data showed an increase in the number of new persons using drugs, which the report attributes to the fact that there was a reduction in face-to-face social interaction.