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Cannabis: statistics, facts and figures

Cannabis statistics, facts, figures and studies 2020/2021

Are you looking for current cannabis statistics from scientific studies? Then you are exactly right here. In the public discussion about the legalization of cannabis (hemp, marihauna, weed or hash) there is usually only the point of view YES LEGALIZE and NO PROHIBIT. But to get a clear and well-founded answer we need data, numbers and facts about canabis.

That's why I'm presenting you with the most telling statistics about the use, effects, and future of the cannabis plant from studies around the world.

Here is another short Table of contents about this statistics article:

  1. Consumption
  2. Effect
  3. Medicine
  4. Studies
  5. Closing words

Differences: Cannabis is the more common term, but actually also only Latin word for Hemp. Marijuana and Grass are called the dried of the female hemp flowers. Hash respectively Hashish refers to the pressed resin of the hemp plant. This basically refers to the cannabis plant and includes the other terms.

Facts and statistics about cannabis use

Figures facts cannabis marijuana consumption

First of all, here I have compiled some valuable data about the use of cannabis.

How many people use cannabis?

  • In 2014, 181.8 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 used cannabis for non-medical reasons globally.₂
  • In 2018, approximately 3.7 million people (7.1 percent of the population) between the ages of 18 and 64 in Germany had used cannabis, marijuana, hash, hemp, or weed at least once in the past 12 months.₃
  • About 22 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds reported using cannabis at least once in 2018. In 2016, the figure was 16.8 percent and in 2008 only 11.6 percent.₄
  • In the U.S., the use, possession and sale of cannabis is prohibited by federal law. Nevertheless, eleven American states have so far legalized cannabis as an intoxicant for persons 21 years of age and older.₅ Sales of the legal cannabis market in the U.S. were $7.97 billion in 2017.₆

How many people are addicted to cannabis?

  • Worldwide, 13.1 million people are considered addicted to cannabis.₇

How many people are for and against the legalization of cannabis in Germany?

  • Result of a representative survey: 58 percent of respondents "somewhat disagreed" that cannabis should be legally and regulated available for adults. 39 percent of respondents "rather agreed".₈
  • 49 percent of 18- to 64-year-olds can imagine taking medical cannabis as a treatment.₉

How much cannabis is sold or purchased each year?

  • In 2016, the police in Germany recorded 31,295 cases of illegal cannabis trafficking and seized 7.8 tons of cannabis. In 2013, there were comparatively 26,807 registered cases involving 6.6 tons of cannabis.₁₀

Notice: These are data from recorded police cases. The number of unreported cases of illegal cannabis trafficking is therefore much higher.

Facts & figures about the effect of cannabis, marijuana and hemp

Here I would like to give you some scientific data about the effect of marijuana or cannabis:

  • The female cannabis plant contains at least 750 chemical and 104 other-acting cannabinoids.₁₁
  • Smoking marijuana and the "vaporization" form of consumption lead to a very high concentration of THC in the blood, which is measurable after 15-20 minutes and drops again after about two to three hours.₁₂
  • For people using cannabis for the first time, the risk of dependence is 1:10, and 1:3 for daily use.₁₃
  • About 3 hours after cannabis use, one study says you should be able to drive again.₁₄

Statistics and data on cannabis in medicine

Cannabis is used in medicine, of course. Here are some facts and figures about it:

  • As of mid-2018, 14,000 patients were being treated with cannabis-containing medicines in Germany.₁₅
  • AOK received a total of 7,600 applications for medical cannabis in 2017. At Barmer, there were 3,200 and at Techniker Krankenkasse 2,200 applications.₁₆
  • The main reason for prescribing cannabis medicines in Germany is pain in 68.3 percent of cases. Remaining data: Anorexia/wasting (15.1 percent), spasticity (8.3 percent), nausea/vomiting (6.0 percent), other (3 percent).₁₇

How many people die from cannabis?

  • There are no known deaths from cannabis.
  • By comparison, alcohol has been proven to kill around 74,000 people in Germany every year.₁₈ Globally, alcohol is responsible for as many as around 3 million deaths each year.₁₉

Studies about cannabis, marijuana and hemp

Statistics and facts about cannabis and hemp

Still not enough facts about cannabis? Then I have a little list for you, where you will find even more numbers. Here are the scientific studies about cannabis that I used for this statistics article:

Notice: At Clinical Studies and Case Reports you will find a number of other important studies on cannabis that have been conducted worldwide since 1970.

Use statistics about cannabis

Cannabis statistics about hemp consumption

I hope you found here the facts and figures about cannabis (or hemp, hashish, marijuana and weed) to get a clear picture in the discussion about the legalization of the plant. Use the statistics to support your point of view.

Do you have questions, additions or suggestions about the statistics on cannabis? Then feel free to leave a comment.

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PS.: Under Statistics I have collected a whole series of other similar contributions. Maybe you are also interested in the article about Veganism facts and figures or Plastic waste statistics.

If you use numbers from this post, please cite the following line as the source. Thanks for your support!


₁ German Hemp Association: What is the difference between hemp, cannabis, hashish and marijuana? (Available from: [07.11.2019].

₂,₇ WHO (2016): The health and social effects of nonmedical cannabis use, available at [08.11.2019].

₃ German Hemp Association: How many people consume cannabis in Germany?, available at [07.11.2019].

₄ Norddeutscher Rundfunk (2019): More and more young people smoke pot (as of June 24, 2019), available at [07.11.2019].

₅ Wikipedia: Legal status of cannabis use in the U.S., available at [07.11.2019].

₆ Statista GmbH (2018): Volume of the legal cannabis market in the USA from 2016 to 2025 (as of 05.06.2018), available at [07.11.2019].

₈ Statista GmbH (2018): Medical cannabis in Germany (as of 30.11.2018), available at [07.11.2019].

₉ Statista GmbH (2019): Germans open-minded about medical cannabis (as of 23 September 2019), available at [07.11.2019].

₁₀ Statista GmbH (2018): Medical cannabis in Germany (as of 06.02.2018), available at [07.11.2019].

₁₁ WHO (2016): The health and social effects of nonmedical cannabis use, 2016, p.2.

₁₂,₁₃ Federal Government Drug Commissioner (2016): Current WHO study on cannabis use, available at [07.11.2019].

₁₄ A. Tank, T. Tietz, T. Daldrup, et al. (2019): On the impact of cannabis consumption on traffic safety: a driving simulator study with habitual cannabis consumers, available at [07.11.2019].

₁₅,₁₇ Statista GmbH (2018): Medical cannabis in Germany (as of 30 November 2018), available at [07.11.2019].

₁₆ Statista GmbH (2018): Medical cannabis in Germany (as of 30 November 2018), available at [07.11.2019].

₁₈ Deutsche Hauptstelle für Suchtfragen (DHS) e.V.: Zahlen und Fakten, available at [07.11.2019].

₁₉ German Medical Association (2018): Three million deaths annually from alcohol (as of 21 September 2018), available at [07.11.2019].

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Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

1 thought on “Cannabis Statistiken, Zahlen, Fakten und Studien 2020/2021”

  1. Very balanced article. It is medically and legally incomprehensible why cannabis is prohibited for adults, but alcohol is legal.

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