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Federal Health Agency Updates Annual Drug Use Survey to Reflect Changing Cannabis Consumption Trends




The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently unveiled its 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), revealing significant adjustments to the marijuana section of the questionnaire. These modifications, aimed at aligning with the evolving cannabis policy landscape, introduce new inquiries about diverse consumption methods, such as vaping, edibles, dabs, lotions, and CBD products.

Highlighted by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on X (formerly Twitter) at precisely 4:20 pm ET, the survey now provides updated insights into cannabis use trends, distinguishing between marijuana and hemp products, and delving into consumption modes. The revisions enable more precise reporting of cannabis and marijuana purchases, particularly in states where marijuana has been decriminalized or legalized.

While the core findings indicate stability in past-use cannabis trends compared to the previous year, a slight increase is noted in 2022, potentially attributed to reduced social restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey introduces a notable shift by including detailed inquiries about various consumption methods, such as smoking, vaping, dabbing, edibles, and more.

In 2022, smoking remained the most common consumption method (78 percent), followed by eating or drinking infused products (47 percent), vaping (37 percent), dabbing (18 percent), and other methods (15 percent). The survey affirms marijuana as the most commonly used federally illicit drug, with a rise in past-year and past-month usage compared to 2021.

The questionnaire also explores the use of federally legal hemp-derived CBD products, revealing that about 11 percent of individuals aged 12 and older reported past-month CBD use. This marks the first inclusion of CBD-related inquiries in the NSDUH, offering a baseline for future comparisons.

While the data indicates a slight increase in teen marijuana use for 2022, overall trends show stability, aligning with the broader state-level legalization movement. Critics like Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) argue that the data suggests a surge in marijuana use across all age groups, emphasizing concerns about high-potency THC products.

The timing of the survey release, shared at 4:20pm ET, reflects a nod to cannabis culture and Secretary Becerra's consistent posting about marijuana news at this specific time. The inclusion of cannabis-related data in federal surveys echoes a broader trend, demonstrating increased attention to marijuana-related trends as state markets continue to evolve.

This story was originally published by Marijuana Moment.