Parents are trading in booze for cannabis during the pandemic

Published Jan 18, 2021 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / anatoliy_gleb

When things first started locking down to stop the spread of COVID-19, it was hand sanitizer, toilet paper and booze that most people stocked up on, in hopes of riding out the storm. But now, we’re adjusting to this strange new way of doing things, which is pretty much just spending a whole lot more time at home. After months on end of feeling cooped up, with less exercise, and unhealthy habits, people began to change their approach, and one of the very first things that they ditched was alcohol.

Says who?

The trend has been thoroughly documented thanks to a survey by Harris Poll, which was conducted on behalf of Curaleaf. They surveyed 2000 legal aged adults about their consumption habits, and found that all people, especially parents, in particular, are smoking more cannabis these days. 42% of those surveyed admitted to using cannabis more during the pandemic and an incredible 45% said that they either replaced or reduced their booze intake with weed.

What might be the most interesting part of this survey is the fact that more than half of all participants who reported using cannabis said that they had never tried it before the pandemic. 33% of parents claimed to have no prior history with pot products, and 60% of all self-professed cannabis consumers said that they replaced alcohol with a gentler alternative, with the majority reporting having at least one child at home. So, it isn’t just parents who are making the switch, but they are one of the most noticeable demographics.


We could spend all day going over the substantial benefits of cannabis versus alcohol, but parents, in particular, have some pretty good and specific reasons for this decision like:

The kids – Having a drink or two at dinner where kids are present might go over well, but take it any further than that, and parents will end up impaired which can make caring for a child almost impossible. With so much extra time on our hands and school out of session, it's just way too easy to go overboard, something that is so much safer when you’re sticking to cannabis.


No hangover – Alcohol always seems like fun at first, and the excellent buzz might even last the whole night through, but once the sun comes up, if you’ve had too much, you’ll be singing a far different tune as you try to shake off ill effects of a hangover. Parents of young children really don’t have the option to sleep the day away in recovery, and with babysitters off the table in so many regions, passing blunts instead of bottles quickly becomes the more appealing way to go.

Fewer calories – We’ve all heard about the possibilities when it comes to using cannabis for weight loss, but even with that helpful quality aside, smoking the plant comes with no calories which means that it isn’t going to make you gain any extra weight. Booze, on the other hand, has the opposite effect, and that’s not overly helpful when we can’t do so many of the active things that we love.

Will things ever go back to normal?

Sure, everyone is smoking more right now because it's simply more beneficial to do so, but will booze come back with a passion when things return to some semblance of normal? The truth is that we don’t know. While the cannabis community is very likely to have thousands of proud new members by the time this is all over, with everyone smoking more pot, a true change of habits takes time to form, and a handful of long cold months might not be long enough to make that difference, but in time, we will see.

Canada treats alcohol like its safer than pot and that must change


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