Medical and recreational marijuana use has increased across the United States due to states passing laws in recent years. With the legalization of marijuana, the development of products and drug delivery systems have changed. National data shows that 47% of young adults who use marijuana consume it in an edible form. The main risk with edible marijuana is over-intoxication. The purpose of the current study was to look at trends in use and perception of edible and smoking marijuana along with characterizing edible user.
Data used for the study was obtained through young adults that participated in a study called Assessment of the College Experience. This study assessed smokeless tobacco trajectories in a cohort of college students. The final sample included 1858 young adults across 11 colleges. The data was collected in five waves from 2010-2018. Questions asked included marijuana use, how it was used (smoking, vaporizing, waterpipe, edibles, dabbing), and perceived harm from consuming edibles and smoking marijuana. The researchers also asked about cigarette use and if they had visited a marijuana dispensary. The final sample included 1858 young adults. They found that current marijuana use increased through the waves of collection, but rates of daily use remained the same (25%).
One major finding was edible consumption increased among non-daily users and remained stable among daily users. However, smoking marijuana decreased among both users. Another concerning finding was that 57% of participants reported they believed consuming edibles was not at all harmful compared to the 18% for smoking marijuana. Because of these findings, there should be regulations on marketing appeals of edible products that give a perception of “healthfulness.” Edibles pose serious health concerns and users are at greater risk for poor outcomes due to lack of oversight and regulations concerning warning labels and marketing of the product overall.
Take Away: Medical and recreational marijuana use has increased as more legalization laws are passed. Due to this, development of various products has increased. The current study looks at trends of use and perception for edible marijuana. The study included 1858 young adults with data collection from 2010-2018. The results showed overall smoking marijuana decreased, and edible consumption of marijuana increased. They also found that 57% of participants believed consuming edibles was not harmful compared to 18% for smoking marijuana. These finding pose concerns about marketing appeal of and suggests better oversight and regulations concerning warning labels for marking of edible marijuana.
Reboussin, B. A., Wagoner, K. G., Sutfin, E. L., Suerken, C., Ross, J. C., Egan, K. L., … Johnson, R. M. (2019). Trends in marijuana edible consumption and perceptions of harm in a cohort of young adults. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 205, 107660. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107660