European vs American Cannabis Culture – Wait, You Guys Do What with Weed?

european weed culture vs american weed culture

Culture as described by the Oxford Dictionary refers to the ideas, customs and social behaviors of a particular group of people or society.

Cannabis is hugely consumed by both Europeans and Americans. But how do these sets of people see the herb? How do they prefer to consume and cultivate it? These among others are what we will be discussing in this article.

Based on the paraphrased Oxford definition of culture, examining the above questions can be likened to dissecting the European and American cannabis culture.

Here we go!

Sales Medium

Without a doubt, America is home to most of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world. You would normally expect this to hugely impact the cannabis purchase culture. However, a detailed survey conducted stated otherwise. The most online purchase of cannabis are made in European countries. Although America is right up there with Europe, the Europeans are at the forefront of online cannabis purchase. 19.8 percent of people surveyed in Denmark has purchased cannabis online, likewise 22.1 percent in United Kingdom (prior to Brexit). Only 14.3 percent has done same in America.

The difference in the purchasing culture of this two regions may be attributed to the huge disparity in the restrictions placed on cannabis in both places.

Consumption Time

American cannabis smokers are usually early to the party. A survey published in 2017 revealed that most Americans smoke a joint within 5 minutes to 1 hour after waking up. Only Mexico came close to matching this. Surveys conducted show most European countries have a totally different consumption time. For example, only 3.6% of users in the Netherlands consume their cannabis that early.

It should be noted that cannabis tops the list of drugs vaped in both countries. Herbal cannabis is most vaped; cannabis resin and cannabis oil are the other favorites.

Analyzing the smoking culture

Smoking cannabis and tobacco together is a well-known practice among cannabis users. There are different ways people do this. Some prefer switching them while still experiencing the effect of the other. One of the popular methods for this is called chasing.

Chasing is smoking tobacco immediately after smoking cannabis or vice versa. The term may also be used to refer to the mixing of cannabis and tobacco together to smoke at the same time. Studies show that this practice may be dangerous for users, meanwhile, Americans are believed to be the safest cannabis smokers. Not our words but a report from a Global Drug Survey. Only 7% of Americans prefer chasing. Meanwhile, 80% Europeans prefer smoking cannabis with tobacco.

Smoking Style

Survey shows that most American smokers often prefer their cannabis raw; without any filter while Europeans prefer smoking their cannabis with a filter. Filters reduce some constituents of smoke including reactive alpha, beta-unsaturated aldehydes such as acrolein and crotonaldehyde. Eviction of these substances from smoke improve environmental health.

While it was reported by a study that using a filter can significantly reduce exposure to toxicologically relevant smoke constituents including Benzene and acrolein, another published review concerning the usage of filter stated otherwise. The review stated that there is no conclusive prove that there’s any beneficial effect of going either way.

Cannabis Smokers’ Public Reputation

Do you know that Europeans are less likely to be proud of being identified with cannabis? According to a survey, Europeans wish to reduce their consumption of cannabis. This is not because cannabis is endangering them, or that they don’t like it, but because of how their society portray cannabis users.

Americans on the other hand are more than happy to be identified with cannabis. In a survey seeking to examine the number of people willing to abstain from consuming cannabis, Americans come second to last on the ranking. It’ll be an understatement  to say that Americans are proud users of cannabis.

Smoking Age

Europeans get their first taste of cannabis at a younger age compared to Americans. About 20 percent of Europeans within 15-24 years claimed they have used cannabis in the last 12 months. This is not the case in America. Americans are more likely to have their first taste of cannabis around the age of 18. It should be noted that this young age group dominates the cannabis consumer market in America. About 22 percent of the users in America are between 18 and 29 years old. The age group that comes closest to this are those between the ages of 50 and 64 years.

Smoking Habit

Did you know that Americans are heavy smokers? Only 25 percent of Americans in a survey claimed they only use cannabis on 10 or lesser days in the previous year. Another sign of the love of Americans for cannabis. About 13% also claimed being stoned for 12 or more hours in a day. It should  be noted that this number is higher than that of any other country. For comparison, the number in Holland is just 2%.

Another interesting fact to note is that surveys show that more Americans seek to quit drinking alcohol than they want to stop using cannabis.


The mode of cultivation adopted by Europeans and Americans are quite similar but still a bit different. Don’t be confused, here is what I mean. Indoor cultivation of cannabis is practiced on the both sides of the Atlantic but due to the cost of energy, there is a slight difference.

In the US, the cost of energy is cheaper compared to Europe. This is why cannabis growers in America can afford to use 1000-watt bulbs while European farmers will opt for 400 to 600 watts bulb. Other than the obvious difference in energy saving techniques employed by cannabis cultivators in both regions, they utilize fairly similar cultivation techniques to get the best out of their cannabis plants.

Bottom line

As we all know, the legality of cannabis still varies across Europe and the United States. Even though the cannabis culture of Europeans and Americans slightly differ, one thing remains undisputable ? their love for cannabis is immense. The number of cannabis users in these areas increase on a daily basis with different users consuming the natural herb for different reasons, medical or recreational.


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High & Marijuana Blog | Cannabis

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