Most People Use Marijuana For Pain Management And Prefer ‘Fruity’ Strains, Poll Finds

One in four marijuana consumers use the plant for pain management, and most say they prefer “fruity” tasting strains that they indulge in “anytime,” rather than a set time of day, according to a new poll.

The survey from the cannabis company NuggMD asked more than 6,500 marijuana consumers about their preferences and habits around use intentions, flavor profiles, desired effects and time of consumption.

Asked about the “main goal” of consuming marijuana, 25 percent of respondents said they used it for pain management, followed by anxiety (23 percent), stress (18 percent), recreation (13 percent), depression (12 percent) and insomnia (seven percent).

About half of respondents (48 percent) said they use cannabis “anytime,” while 29 percent said they use it in the evening and 11 percent said they consume at bedtime. Another five percent said they indulge in the afternoon, and four percent said they used in the morning.

The survey also inquired about the types of flavors and aromas cannabis consumers prefer, and a plurality (27 percent) said they liked “fruity” varieties. That was followed by “sweet” (19 percent), “earthy” (18 percent), “citrus” (18 percent), “diesel” (10 percent), “vanilla” (six percent) and “spicy” (two percent).

Finally, respondents were asked about the effects of cannabis they look for in a given variety. Most said they want to feel “relaxed” (30 percent) and “euphoric” (24 percent). Fifteen percent said they seek an “energetic” effect, and 13 percent want to feel “uplifted.” Another 10 percent said they prefer a “creative” effect, and just eight percent said they want to feel “sleepy.”

“The data suggests that many millions of U.S. adults are using cannabis for health and wellness reasons, even when they do not have a medical cannabis recommendation,” Deb Tharp, head of legal and policy research at NuggMD, told Marijuana Moment.

In line with the those results, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that “while most patients (76.1 percent) reported using cannabis to manage a health symptom, very few patients identified as medical cannabis users.”

Tharp of NuggMD said that “cannabis retail is new in most places and there’s still a lot of consumer education that needs to be done in the space.”

“Eventually, cannabis marketing will be more robust and nuanced, similar to how coffee is positioned around its country of origin or a whiskey around its mash bill,” she said. “For now, I think polling is a better assessment of what customers prefer than data on inventory and sales. Our insight should be useful to both cannabis retailers and suppliers.”

The poll, which was conducted last month, involved interviews with 6,550 cannabis consumers. NuggMD commissioned the survey but says none of its customers directly participated in it.

NuggMD is behind a number of recent polling initiatives focused on cannabis consumer and policy issues.

For example, the cannabis company released another survey in April that found a majority of likely U.S. voters who identify as regular marijuana consumers believes Democrats have “better ideas” for cannabis policy. And most would also be more likely to support political candidates if they endorse legalization, regardless of party.

It also published a survey in January that found about one-third of marijuana consumers say they would go back to the illicit market if cannabis is rescheduled and only made legally available as a Food and Drug Administration- (FDA) approved prescription drug.

A separate survey from YouGov that was released last month found that a majority of Americans have tried marijuana—and most say they had a positive experience.

Meanwhile, a recent report from an equity-focused marijuana advocacy organization finds that nearly two-thirds of American adults want legalization laws to prioritize social equity (68 percent), end cannabis arrests (68 percent) and ensure that people have legal access to marijuana products (65 percent).

College Enrollment Increases In States That Legalize Marijuana Without Hurting Graduation Rates, Study Finds

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