While curling up in bed with a J during the winter days may seem ideal, studies show that marijuana use typically drops toward the beginning of the year and gradually picks up pace as the year rolls on. The study that was conducted by researchers at NYU and published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal, researched the trends of marijuana use throughout the year.
The study collected data from the National Survey on Drug Use which is an annual questionnaire that tracks Americans' self-reported drug use. The questionnaire asked the participants to state how much weed (or any other drug) they consumed within the past month. This helped the researchers estimate how much weed was consumed by each participant in the last quarter. At the end of the study the researchers found that, during the months of January to March, around 8.9% of the respondents stated that they consumed weed. As the months went by, so did their weed consumption and it peaked during the months of October to December with over 10.1% respondents stating that they hit the J- a 13 per cent relative increase over the first quarter of each year.
Joseph Palamar, PhD, MPH, associate professor of population health at NYU and lead author of the study said “We found that marijuana use is consistently higher among those surveyed later in the year, peaking during late fall or early winter before dropping at the beginning of the following year. We think this may be due, in part, to a ‘Dry January’ in which some people stop drinking alcohol or even stop using marijuana as part of a New Year’s resolution. We’re now in the time of year when people are the least likely to use marijuana.”
While cannabis consumption trends could vary due to a lot of factors, researchers stated that this was the general trend observed in every stoner demographic. However, the only exception to this trend were teens who were found to be consuming marijuana the most during the summer and cutting back during fall, presumably because they'd attend school. Apart from the researchers ‘Dry January’ hypothesis, they also feel that the cold weather could be a significant discouraging factor to people who would otherwise step out and score weed.
This data may seem redundant at first but this insight into cannabis use according to a particular month has research as well as clinical purposes. “Ultimately, we hope that these findings can be utilized by researchers and clinicians alike, said study co-author Austin Le.