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How Many People Consume Cannabis Worldwide?

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recently released its ‘2024 World Drug Report’ which listed, among other things, facts about global cannabis use. The report’s details were covered at length in Marijuana Moment‘s original coverage.

“As for cannabis, which UNODC calls in the new report “by far the world’s most commonly used drug,” an estimated 228 million people globally used the substance, representing about 4 percent of the world’s population. In North America, the region where marijuana use is the most popular, nearly 1 in 5 people (19.8 percent) between 15 and 64 used the drug in 2022.” Marijuana Moment stated in its reporting.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) compiles reported usage data from most European nations and publishes it in an annual report. The EMCDDA recently published its 2024 report and it also contained a heavy focus on cannabis usage.

“National surveys of cannabis use would suggest that, overall, an estimated 8% of European adults (22.8 million aged 15 to 64) have used cannabis in the last year.” EMCCDA stated about overall cannabis usage in Europe.

A recent Gallup poll in the United States asked, “Keeping in mind that this is confidential, how many days in the last month have you used cannabis products (such as smoking marijuana, vaping liquid THC, or consuming baked goods or gummies) to alter your mood and help you relax?”

According to the results of the survey, 9% of U.S. adults reported using cannabis ‘regularly’ which is defined as once every 10 days or more. In addition to a reported 9% ‘regular’ consumption rate, the Gallup survey found that roughly one in five adults (19%) reported using cannabis products at least once in the prior month.

“Regular usage differs by education and income, with the highest rates seen among those with a high school education or less (13%) and those living in households earning less than $24,000 per year (16%). These consumption levels are about three times the rates found among those with postgraduate work or degrees (5%) and those living in households earning $180,000 or more annually (5%).” Gallup stated.

The global medical cannabis market is projected to be worth an estimated $121.33 billion by 2033 according to a recent analysis by Spherical Insights. Spherical Insights describes itself as “a market research and consulting firm which provides actionable market research study, quantitative forecasting and trends analysis provides forward-looking insight especially designed for decision makers and aids ROI.”

“The Global Medical Cannabis Market Size is to Grow from USD 17.60 Billion in 2023 to USD 121.33 Billion by 2033, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.30% during the projected period.” Spherical Insights stated in a press release.

A separate report published by Research and Markets projected that the legal global cannabis market will be worth an estimated $125.4 billion by 2030. Research and Markets also recently published a report projecting that the global medical cannabis sector will be worth $82.5 billion by 2030.

“The global market for Legal Marijuana estimated at US$30.6 Billion in the year 2023, is projected to reach a revised size of US$125.4 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 22.3% over the analysis period 2023-2030.” Research and Markets stated in a press release.

The global cannabidiol (CBD) market was worth an estimated $7.6 billion in 2023 according to a previous market analysis by, and will climb to a projected $36.6 in value by 2033.

“Between 2023 and 2032, this market is estimated to register the highest CAGR of 27%.” the researchers stated.

“Because of its therapeutic benefits, there is a significant demand for CBD for health and wellness applications, which is the main reason driving the market. The increased acceptability and use of products as a result of government approvals is another important factor anticipated to increase the manufacturing of CBD-infused goods.” the researchers also stated.

According to an analysis by New Frontier Data, cannabis consumers around the globe “spent an estimated $415 billion on high-THC cannabis in 2020” and that figure is expected to increase to to $496 billion by 2025.

“Much of the world has not yet legalized cannabis, and nearly all the demand resides in illicit or unregulated markets. In 2020, 94% of high-THC cannabis spend was in unregulated channels.” New Frontier Data states.

New Frontier Data has determined that sales of high-THC cannabis products through legal regulated outlets totaled $23.7 billion in 2020 and that legal sales are projected to reach $51 billion by 2025. New Frontier Data estimates that legal cannabis sales of adult-use cannabis “are projected to be double those of legal medical sales by 2025, despite the higher number of medical markets globally.”