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Effect of the corona measures on cannabis use

corona virus, Coffeeshop Smokerdam, Amsterdam Oud-Zuid

Investigate cannabis use

The Trimbos Institute investigated the use of hashish and weed in an online survey in April this year. In those first weeks, more than 2 out of 5 cannabis users started smoking more. Only a small part has started to use less.


About the participants

The survey was posted on social media and sent to a group of respondents who previously participated in Trimbos cannabis use research. ​

The participants were recruited in a targeted manner and the sample is therefore not necessarily representative of all Dutch adults who use (regular) cannabis. The figures do give an indication of the effect of the corona measures on cannabis use.

Most respondents are between 20-24 (26.5%) and 25-35 (30.2%) years old, with an average age of 32.6 years. More than two thirds (66.3%) of the respondents indicate that they are men.

Almost three quarters of the respondents mostly used weed (71.9%) before taking the measures. About one in six (14.9%) usually uses hash. The remaining part uses hash as much as weed (13.2%).

Almost all participants (91.7%) use weed and / or hash in a joint mixed with tobacco. A small part takes weed and / or hash purely in a joint (7.8%) and / or weed and / or hash processed in food (6.6%).


The results in short

In total, 1563 respondents completed the complete questionnaire. In brief:

• 41.3% started using hash or weed more often

• This mainly concerns more use in 1 day

• Boredom is the main reason to start using more


Cannabis use for corona measures

Before the introduction of the corona measures, almost three quarters (67.9%) indicate that they use cannabis and / or hash (almost) daily. 15.9% use it a few times a week. The other respondents use weed and / or hash weekly or less than weekly. One user day, respondents used an average of 3.0 joints.



Changes in cannabis use after taking measures

After the introduction of the corona measures, almost half of the respondents (49.4%) continued to use the same frequency. 41.3% say they have started to use weed and / or hash more often. ​

A much smaller proportion indicate that they have decreased (6.6%) or have (temporarily) stopped (2.8%). The answer option 'I have (temporarily) stopped' has been added to the questionnaire after 157 responses. The percentage of (temporarily) stopped users may therefore be higher than shown here.


More cannabis use in 1 day

After the introduction of the corona measures, the percentage of (almost) daily users is 76.4%. For the measures, this was 67.9%. For the entire sample, the average number of joints on a user's day increased from 3.0 joints before the start of the measures to 3.6 joints after the start of the measures. The (almost) daily users go from an average of 3.4 joints to 4.2 joints on average on a user day.


Reasons to smoke more

By far the main reason for using weed and / or hash more or more often is boredom (78.4% of those who use more / more often), followed by stress (36.3%), mental health (30.4%), loneliness (29.6%), fewer parties (26.5%) and seeing friends less (22.5%).


Way of use usually the same

When asked how respondents have changed whether the manner of use after the introduction of the corona measures has changed, 85.6% answered that they use cannabis and / or hash in the same way as before the introduction of the corona measures; 7.1% indicate that they use less tobacco and 2.0% eat (more) edibles.


The most frequently mentioned extra measures that users take are: “I don't share joints” and “I don't smoke with friends anymore”.


Source: Trimbos institute

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