Move over Bud Light, a number of football fans prefer actual bud. A new study found football to be cannabis consumers’ favorite pro sport. In a series called “Green Economics,” researchers from Green Market Report and Consumer Research Around Cannabis looked at cannabis consumer preferences for both professional and college sports.
Based on national results from nearly 37,000 surveys in 32 U.S. media markets,
1,292 adults indicated that they had used and/or bought cannabis in the past year, and that 55.1 percent of them follow the National Football League.
Another 36.2 percent follow Major League Baseball, almost tied with the 36.1 percent who follow the National Basketball Association. Coming in last was the 27.8 percent of cannabis consumers who follow the National Hockey League.
The study found that the most popular college sport among cannabis consumers was also football.
“The NFL has been the most successful professional sports league over the past couple of decades – supplanting Major League Baseball. In many ways the league’s success mirrors our nation when it comes to income, age, and education,” said Vice President of Consumer Research Around Cannabis, Jeffrey Stein.
The cannabis consumer statistics mirrored national stats, too. According to a recent Gallup study, 57 percent of the population are professional football fans. Meanwhile, 40 percent of the population are pro basketball fans and 28 percent are pro hockey fans.
“I was surprised that football was number one,” said oo-Founder and CEO of the Green Market Report Debra Borchardt. “I really thought basketball would’ve been number one since it’s a sport followed by more young people and is growing in popularity, while ratings have been falling for football.”
Researchers say the findings shouldn’t be so surprising since cannabis delivery sales increase just before the Super Bowl. According to a 2016 Eaze report, cannabis deliveries increased by 47.5 percent in California from 2 to 3 pm, an hour before kick off.
Green Economics also looked into the demographics of these cannabis consuming football fans. Their average age is 37 with a median household income of $60,387. Moreover, 33.2 percent of NFL fans are college graduates and 13.5 percent are business owners. The majority were men (66.5 percent) while 34.5 percent were women.
Those behind the study say that this research undermines the stereotype that “stoners” don’t like sports, and shows how Americans are choosing to relax in states where cannabis is legal. Since alcohol is often popular during sport events, cannabis can be a safer alternative to prevent drug driving and/or domestic abuse.
Cannabis can also be helpful to the football players, themselves, having been shown to be a neuroprotectant in the case of head injuries and CTE. Cannabis is also a useful and safer alternative to opioids in regard to pain management and muscle relaxation for athletes.
“This study was encouraging because the most vocal advocates for allowing cannabis as an alternative to deadly pain medications are professional football players,” said Cynthia Salarizadeh, co-Founder of the Green Market Report. “The NFL helps provide an appropriate platform for their fight with their massive visibility. Hopefully their owners will listen and allow their players the right to choose what medication they use for their pain management.”