European vs American Cannabis Culture

Cannabis culture describes the social atmosphere, the lifestyle and the associated social behaviours in regard to cannabis consumption and everything related to cannabis. Certainly, the cannabis market is huge in both regions, and, therefore, the number of cannabis enthusiasts is huge across the west as well. While there is common ground between the European cannabis culture and the American cannabis culture, there are still great differences between the cannabis cultures that can be observed.

Related: Why You Shouldn’t Care if Your Cannabis is Sativa or Indica

To find out which similarities and differences there are, we are now going to take a look at some facts and figures around the European and the American cannabis culture.


European cannabis users favour smoking with tobacco over pure marijuana

Most European folks mix their herb with tobacco. A survey showed that over 80 percent of European cannabis users don’t smoke cannabis rawly. In contrast to that, only seven percent of Americans mix their cannabis with tobacco.

While European refer to a cannabis-tobacco mixture that is rolled into a paper as a ‘joint’, Americans would call it a ‘spliff’. Moreover, Europeans call a pure joint a ‘blunt’, regardless of the paper that is being used, while Americans would simply call it a joint. In America, a blunt is a joint that was rolled with a tobacco paper.


Americans love to wake and bake

A study that was conducted in 2017 showed that 21.9 percent of American weed smokers start to consume cannabis in the morning, five to 60 minutes after waking up. Only half of this average percentage was reported in Europe, while countries like Greece were ranking high with 15.9 percent. Also, almost one-third of the surveyed Americans reported that they have their last joint just before sleep, coming third to the Irish and British.


Americans favour the environment, Europeans prefer health

Americans tend to prefer smoking cannabis without a filter, while most Europeans use a tip or even an activated carbon filter. While this produces less waste material and is better for the environment, it is certainly a big health risk.

Activated carbon filters reduce the harm of the smoke significantly. In two studies, it was reported that activated carbon filters reduce the exposure to toxicologically relevant smoke constituents such as acrolein, crotonaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene and benzene. Also, at the highest charcoal loadings, carbonyls were reduced by nearly 99 percent, while tar and nicotine decreased by 20 percent.


Americans are proud cannabis users

Europeans are less likely to show their love for marijuana to the outside world. Americans, on the other hand, love cannabis streetwear! In fact, cannabis-themed fashion even made it to the New York Fashion Week.

This may also be due to the numerous consumer-focused cannabis festivals that you can find in America. These are rather hard to find within Europe. In Europe, most cannabis events are all about regulations, business and medical cannabis, while in America it’s already legal and, therefore, the consumer’s spirit can be fully unfolded.


Americans are heavy marijuana smokers

More than 33 percent of U.S. consumers reported that they used cannabis on at least 300 days in the previous year, while only 19 percent of the rest of the world reported this high of a consumption frequency. Also, Americans tend to prefer high-potency strains, as 60 percent of surveyed Americans reported so. However, only 45 percent of Europeans issued the same statement.

What’s more, 13 percent of US cannabis smokers reported being stoned for more than half of the day (12 hours) compared to the Dutch of who only two percent reported the same.


Europeans start smoking cannabis earlier than Americans

Europeans start smoking earlier than Americans. Close to 20 percent of the European Union’s young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 reported that they had consumed cannabis in the previous year, while 24 percent of the current American cannabis users are aged between 18 and 29.


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