Ask any dedicated member of the cannabis community and they will surely tell you that pot really is the secret to a better life. Or at least, they probably feel like something enormous would be missing from their life, if they couldn’t get hold of weed.

But here’s the thing – there’s actually a certain amount of scientific evidence to suggest that cannabis really is the key to happiness. According to the results of a study published last week, those who spend more time outdoors, make more money, get themselves involved in more volunteer work and are generally happier and more content than those who abstain.

The study was carried out by a research team with BDS Analytics, who concluded that the “well-adjusted lifestyles seen among cannabis consumers serve as a common theme in the findings in the series of reports called ‘Public Attitudes and Actions Towards Legal Cannabis.’"

This particular study was carried out on an extensive audience across Colorado and California – similar studies are being carried out as we speak in Washington and Oregon. Part of an on-going project entitled BDS Analytics’ Cannabis Wellness Trends, the study was designed to gain an accurate insight into the thoughts and opinions of the public in general with regard to cannabis legalisation and the legal cannabis market. Approximately 2,000 adults took part in the study, of which around 1,200 consider themselves to be cannabis users.

“Every time we embark on a study of wellness or health, we have preconceived ideas on what we will find,” said Linda Gilbert, managing director of the BDS Consumer Research Division.

“But I was quite surprised by these results. Especially in how the substance is actually used.”

Perhaps entirely unsurprisingly to the more committed cannabis community members out there, potheads were found to rank considerably higher on a number of key indicators regarding overall happiness and lifestyle satisfaction.  But what was also interesting was the way in which the results of the study found that most of the cannabis being consumed among those polled was not consumed socially.

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“The majority of the respondents say they use cannabis for physical, mental and/or emotional wellness. It’s not a group of people getting together and getting high,” Gilbert added.

“I suspect that will change as legalization becomes more and more prevalent and accepted.”

Mirroring the findings of various other recent studies, the researchers also noted that more women than ever before are becoming active members of the cannabis community.

“In general, women are the gatekeepers of health in most households. And this study suggests that women are embracing cannabis for self-care. Instead of Advil or Aleve, women are turning to cannabis for menstrual cramps,” said Gilbert.

“The cannabis consumer cohort should be of interest to many marketers targeting healthy lifestyle consumers, whether food and beverages, exercise and recreation, community service and more.”

The data collected also brought to light some interesting information as to exactly how cannabis consumption methods have been radically transformed since legalisation. Specifically, the fact that there are so many alternatives available right now to conventional cannabis smoking is resulting in a wider and more diverse audience getting involved and sampling what’s on offer.

“All these new forms have drastically changed the landscape,” Gilbert commented.

“Cannabis consumers want to live a healthy lifestyle. For some, smoking it is a barrier. It’s just not the stereotypical twentysomething toking up in the basement. Today’s marijuana consumer prefers organic produce, sustainable packaging, and, in general, a more mindful lifestyle.”

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