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Motives, delivery methods, and state policy predict marijuana concentrate use

Marijuana concentrates (i.e., dabs, hash oil, wax) typically contain 40% – 80% THC and produce a stronger high than smoking marijuana herb/flower. A new study provides insights on characteristics of marijuana concentrate users, motives for use, usage patterns, perceived risk, and predictors of daily/near daily use. Participants were 673 individuals in the U.S. who completed an anonymous, online survey on a drug use discussion website. Results showed the sample consisted of mostly male and non-Hispanic Whites. Almost all (99%) of respondents reported lifetime herbal/flower marijuana use, 40% reported using this form of marijuana daily or near daily, 80% reported using resin or edibles, and over 66% reported using marijuana concentrates. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify state policy, socio-demographic, and drug use characteristics associated with marijuana concentrate use and daily/near daily concentrate use in the past year. The authors found living in a state in which recreational marijuana use was legal was the strongest predictor of lifetime marijuana concentrate use (Adjusted OR = 4.91, p = 0.001, relative to states in which all marijuana use was illegal). Living in a state in which medical marijuana use was legal was also associated with higher odds of concentrate use (Adjusted OR = 1.87, p = 0.014). Reported use of marijuana concentrates for therapeutic purposes and reported use of vape pens were both significant predictors of daily/near daily concentrate use. Over 25% of concentrate users reported they had made their own concentrates, most commonly (70%) using butane extraction, which carries a risk of fire and/or injury.

Take away: In this convenience sample, 66% of respondents reported using marijuana concentrates. Predictors of frequency of concentrate use included living in a state in which medical or recreational marijuana use was legal, using concentrates for therapeutic purposes, and using vape pens.

Citation: Daniulaityte R, Lamy FR, Barratt M, et al. (2017). Characterizing marijuana concentrate users: A web-based survey [published online ahead of print June 29 2017], Drug and Alcohol Dependence doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.05.034

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