Survey Results

This page has some early results of our cannabis and hemp effectiveness research project (via a simple, standardized survey). We just ask people to tell us about "What Works Best" for their goals, whether medical or adult use.

We understand people may have several goals in mind when they use cannabinoid products, so we encourage everyone to take one survey for each goal. We hope that publishing this real world evidence will help others find what works best for them.

These results summaries do not include specifics about which type of active ingredient amounts worked best for different conditions and goals. But that is our goal and as soon as we have collected enough responses for it to be meaningful to regular patients and consumers, we'll publish it here.

Our survey collects anonymous, self-reported, observational, real-world marketing research data - not clinical data. We collect the data and publish results for free to everyone. We don't sell it either. Anyone who is interested can see it here.

Our revenue comes from our partners' ads on this site and sales of our educational posters, guides, and branded clothing and accessories. We do not partner with cannabis or hemp "plant-touching" businesses, simply so we can remain as unbiased and product-neutral as possible. 

To show "statistically significant" correlations about active ingredients and effectiveness, we need a LOT of survey responses. MANY, MANY thousands. We hope that we can begin posting more detailed information soon. 



So please ask your friends and family to take our survey! We'll send them 3 of our Pocket Guides for their trouble. Cannabis or hemp "anecdotes" collected in the same way with the same survey can quickly become real actionable knowledge.

The following summary statistics cover some important aspects of cannabis or hemp product choices and their self-reported effectiveness for different types of people with different types of symptoms and goals.

We distinguish between medical use and adult use (recreational), however we understand there is significant overlap - that distinction isn't always clear. Many consumers may not have a diagnosed medical symptom they are treating, but the effects could very well improve their health-related quality of life.

Sleep is a good example of this crossover. 56% of recreational, adult users tell us that "improve my sleep" is a top goal for their cannabinoid consumption. Few would argue that better sleep quality isn't good for your physical and mental heath.

Our goal is to help both patients and consumers by publishing simple summaries and graphics of what works for others. We feel this medical versus adult-use distinction will help guide others, especially patients, toward a product that works well for them.

Data was collected from November 2020 to January 2024.

Quality of Life

Overall Quality of Life impact is an important variable when considering any product, especially a cannabinoid medicine product. Six out of seven age groups of both medical and adult users tell us it's at least "much better", on average. The 65-74 age group reports an average score of 3.7, which is between "better" and "much better".

 Bar chart showing the average quality of life survey results of medical and adult use cannabis users. All age groups reported it was "much better" to "much, much better" EXCEPT the 65-74 adult use age group - they reported their improvement was between "better" and "much better".


Medical Symptoms 

These are the top 10 medical symptoms people tell us they are treating with cannabinoid products.

Medical symptoms horizontal bar chart showing that Pain is first with 36.4% of our respondents saying it is their PRIMARY reason for using cannabinoid medical products. Then Anxiety (16.8%), PTSD (8.9%), and Arthritis (7.1%). Depression, headaches, gastrointestinal, insomnia, inflammation and antimicrobial also were reported.

Adult Use Goals

Here is what people tell us about their adult use goals for their cannabis consumption. Relaxation is no.1 with over 63% stating it as a primary goal. For physical and non-physical activities, the goals were phrased as "Enhance" that activity. You can select multiple adult use goals so the totals do not sum to 100%.

Horizontal bar chart showing the primary goals adult users have for their cannabis consumption. Relaxation is no. 1 with 63.2% reported it as a goal. In descending rank order the rest are: Improve my sleep, Improve my disposition, Creativity, Help me focus, Enhance a non-physical activity, Increase my comfort level in a social situation, Increase my energy level, Enhance a physical activity, Reduce my energy level, Sexual


Methods of Consumption 

How people take their "best" cannabinoid product varies a lot. Our data indicates that adult users prefer smoking by a large margin (60.7%). Next are vaporizing (19.1%) and ingestion (16.7%). Only 2% of adult users prefer tinctures.

Medical users who took our survey also like smoking, but at a much lower rate (34.3%). They also like ingestion (29.7%), vaporization (24.4%), and tinctures (9.5%).

2 Pie charts comparing Medical use versus Adult use cannabis. The biggest difference is that over 60% of Adult users smoke their cannabis while only 34% of medical users smoke. Tincture was 9.5% for medical and 2% for Adult use.


Effectiveness by Age

Effectiveness in our survey is based on a 0-100% scale. We are only collecting surveys from people who have found a product that works well for them, so they all experience effectiveness to some degree. The overall average was 80.2% effective.

"80%" effectiveness in our survey means that on average, medical symptoms were reduced by about 80% and adult use goals reached about 80% of their maximum possible level. The biggest takeaway is likely that these results are fairly consistent for all ages at a level of around 80% effectiveness according to the patients and consumers who've taken our survey. Here is how it breaks down by age group and purpose:

Average Effectiveness of cannabis products bar chart by age group showing all age groups report almost 80% effectiveness in achieving their medical or adult use goals .


Effectiveness by Method 

The Effectiveness by Method bar chart shows that the average effectiveness of all major administration methods ranged from 72.5% for Adult use tincture to 83.1% for Adult use vaporization. Medical effectiveness was greatest with tinctures and ingestion (about 82%) while smoke and vaporization was about 77% effective on average.

Effectiveness by Method bar chart showing the average effectiveness ranged from 72.5% for adult use tincture to 83.1% for Adult use vaporization. Medical effectiveness was greatest with tinctures and ingestion (about 82%) - smoke and vapor was about 77% effective on average.

Effectiveness for Pain by Method

Pain is the most prevalent medical symptom that we hear about in the survey. Here is what people tell us about the effectiveness of their "best" method of administration of cannabinoid medicine for pain. We do ask more specifics about the type of pain, and we hope to have collected enough surveys to publish more specific results soon.

Ingesting and tinctures are reported to be more effective than smoking or vaporizing for pain, although all methods seem to provide significant pain relief.

Simple horizontal bar chart showing the self-reported effectiveness for pain reduction: 88.1% for ingesting (swallowing), 77.8% for smoking, 74.5% for vaporizing, and 86.4% for tinctures.

Effectiveness for "Relaxation" by Method

Relaxation is the number one adult use goal for cannabis product consumption according to our survey. Over 63% told us it was at least one of their primary goals (see chart above). The next chart shows that vaping, smoking, and ingesting are all more than 80% effective, but vaping is reported as most effective at 85.2% effective.

Green vertical bar charts on a black background from (gold logo). It shows that vaporizing cannabis is 85.2% effective for relaxation. Smoking is 83.5% effective while ingesting is 81.7% effective.


Vaporization Temperature

Vaporization temperature determines how fast the active ingredients evaporate so they can be inhaled into the lungs, and then absorbed into the bloodstream. It also plays a major role in the taste and flavor of cannabinoid products. Here are the preferences of those who took our survey:

Preferred Vaporizer temperatures: 53% like 350-400F best, 29% like temperatures over 400F. 18% like temperatures between 300F and 350F.



Wait time and Duration

People tell us that the wait time to feel effects and the duration of those effects varies a lot based on the method of administration. The effects from inhaling smoke or vapor begin very fast (<10 minutes) and then last about 2 hours, on average. Ingesting (swallowing) takes about 40 minutes to start but lasts an average of about 6.4 hours.

Tincture effects take about half an hour to start and last an average of 5.9 hours, almost as long as ingesting (6.4 hours). Recent research indicates that often tinctures are swallowed before they are absorbed mucosally, so they end up being processed in the liver like ingested products.

Horizontal combined bar chart showing wait time and duration of effects averages for 4 methods of consumption of cannabis products.


Side Effects

Here is what people tell us about the unpleasant or adverse side effects they experience. 73% said they do not experience any significant adverse side effects. 
The top three are dry mouth (22%), Dry or Red Eyes (12%) and Increased Appetite (11%). Then 9% reported Fatigue or Lethargy, 8% reported Impaired Memory and 6% reported Anxiety or Stress. 
Horizontal Bar Chart showing 14 Cannabis & Hemp product side effects and the % of respondents who reported them. 73% of respondents reported "None".


We will be adding to and updating this results page periodically as we collect more data. Our research project has no end date, because new product development will continue, and we see our work as a "living" analysis.

It will be developing with new insights for many years to come. Thank you for your help in de-stigmatizing perhaps the most powerful and misunderstood plant on earth!

Encourage your friends and family to contribute to our research by taking a quick survey about "What Works Best" for them. Thank you!