Google reveals what people really think about weed

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Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Americans are searching for weed more than ever, according to Google trends.

What are they searching for, when, and where? Let’s find out.


Interest in cannabis is rising in the US (note: we’re looking at all weed-related searches here, as grouped by Google machine learning).

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Google

Interest is highest in Colorado, Washington, Maine, Michigan, and Alaska. It’s lowest in Utah.

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Google

Not California? If you go to the metro level, Eureka, Calif. comes out far on top, with Chico-Redding, Calif. in fourth. (Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va. is last).

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Google

Rising weed searches in the past five years include “dry herb vaporizer,” “dabs weed,” and “vape pen.” The first refers to an emerging product category. The second refers to an increasingly popular concentrated cannabis extract. The third is another emerging product category.

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How people smoke weed in 2016 (the Pax vape pen).
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Pax Labs

Rising weed searches in the past year include “malia obama weed” and “cannabis tampons.” The first refers to the first daughter allegedly getting high at Lollapalooza. The second is a new product meant to relieve cramps.

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Gary Cameron/Reuters

Weed searches are fairly steady year-round, with a spike around 420 (that unofficial pot holiday) and election time.

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Google

Weed searches rise on weekends and holidays.

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Google

People search for weed most around 1 AM. (Although relative searches interest peaks around 3 AM, we’re roughly taking into account the decline in overall web traffic after midnight.)

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Google

People are increasingly interested in CBD, even if THC still gets more searches. CBD is a non-psychoactive part of pot shown to have some health benefits. THC is psychoactive and also has some health benefits.

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Google

Turning to auto-complete queries, is weed …

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PRiMENON on Wikimedia Commons

a drug? Yes.

illegal? Depends.

legal in California? To a degree.

legal in Japan? No.


Can weed …

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pixabay.com

kill you? Not from an overdose but maybe from stupid decisions or long-term effects.

go bad? Yes.

give you cancer? Smoke of any kind contains carcinogens and damages your lungs: still, cannabis smoke hasn’t been definitively linked to cancer; vaping is probably safer.


Why is weed …

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420 Games

illegal? It’s complicated.

bad for you? It has a lot of effects, some bad, some good, some unknown.

called pot? It likely comes from the Spanish word for marijuana leaves, potiguaya.

called 420? Despite claims that it originates in a police code, most believe it comes from some California high schoolers who used every day at 4:20 PM.