Are younger or older Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?

Australians in the general population aged 16-17 years are more likely to have used cannabis in their lifetime, the past 12 months, the past month and the past week than those aged 12-15 years.

Among Australians aged 12-15 years 3% have used cannabis in their lifetime, 2%* have used in the past 12 months, 0.9%* in the past month, and 0.3%** in the past week. Among Australians aged 16-17 years 15% have used cannabis in their lifetime, 12% have used in the past 12 months, 6% cannabis in the past month, and 3%* in the past week. * Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use. ** Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2019).

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

** Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

Please note: The proportion of youth in the general population who have used cannabis in the past 12 months, past month, and past week differs from the proportion of school students who have used cannabis in the past year, past month, and past week (see FAQ: Are younger or older Australian school students aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?). These differences may be due to differences in survey measures.  In the Australian Secondary School Students’ Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey, respondents are asked about their frequency of use (none to 40 times or more) in the past year, past month, and past week.  In the general population survey (National Drug Strategy Household Survey), respondents are simply asked if they had used cannabis in the past 12 months, past month, or past week.