A lot has changed since California legalized weed. Not only is the number of people who smoke marijuana increasing, but our understanding of ‘typical weed smoker’ is evolving. Cannabis research company BDS Analytics surveyed Californians at the beginning of 2017, and again in 2018. They learned a lot about marijuana consumers and non-consumers, some of which surprised them. For example, most people wouldn’t assume cannabis consumers exercise more than non-consumers. A closer look at the data illustrates people that consume marijuana actually exercise and work more than those who don’t.
First off, Who Consumes Marijuana In California?
The demographics of who smoked marijuana initially may not be all that surprising. However, marijuana use has shifted over the course of one year. The study looked at over 1,000 Californians over 21 in 2017 and 2018.
The average marijuana user, meaning someone that had consumed cannabinoids within six months of the survey, is 39-years-old. Furthermore, the study separated Californians into acceptors and rejectors. The difference between consumers and acceptors is that acceptors had not used marijuana within six months, but they were open to it.
It may not come as a surprise that the average acceptor is 49-years-old, ten years older than the average consumer. The average rejector is 56-years-old. Younger people consume more marijuana and are more tolerant of those who do than older demographics.
Overall, marijuana use jumped from 23 percent of Californians to 29 percent. Though this seems small, remember that these changes occurred over less than a year. Also, almost 40 million people live in California. A few percentage points over a year is a sign of significant market growth.
Refuting The ‘Stoner’ Stereotype
The demographics of marijuana use are changing—fast. Some may stereotype the typical weed smoker as a millennial city dweller. This perception is increasingly inaccurate.
In the first survey, 63 percent of marijuana consumers resided in cities. In 2018, this number went way down, all the way to 45 percent. Correspondingly, more people are ingesting cannabis (in its many forms) in small towns and suburbs.
BDS Analytics’ managing director of consumer insights Linda Gilbert explains that these demographics have a lot to do with accessibility. “If you didn’t live in a city back in 2017, it was probably pretty inconvenient for you to go to a dispensary,” Gilbert told Forbes.
Marijuana Consumers Exercise More Than Non-Consumers
This was the biggest stereotype that BDS’s study invalidated. Overal, 43 percent of them answered that they work out outdoors multiple times per week. Acceptors admitted to 35 percent of weekly outside activity. This figure was even lower—25 percent—for rejectors.
Maybe this is because weed pairs perfectly with the great outdoors? True, but the study also found that marijuana users worked out more inside, too. Once a week, 40 percent exercise at a gym, compared to only 30 and 27 percent of acceptors and rejectors, respectively.
Naturally, cannabis consumers did more yoga and pilates, too.
They Work More, Too
Exercise isn’t the only way that marijuana users are busting stereotypes; A higher percentage also had full-time jobs. The study found that, in 2018, 53 percent had full-time employment. This corresponded to an income of $70,000 per year, on average.
44 percent of acceptors and 33 percent of rejectors had full times jobs, according to the survey.
Marijuana Consumption Is Increasingly Apart of Daily Life
This is especially true for young Californians. Of course, age had an effect on the survey: People who are older may have more difficulty exercising and generational attitudes towards fitness may differ.
But hopefully, once and for all, this study will debunk the prevalent cultural myth that smoking weed means you’re lazy. With 29 percent of California using marijuana, which corresponds to well over 11 million people, it’s impossible for these stereotypes about marijuana users—and what the herb can do to you—to be true.