Cannabis Use Patterns at the Dawn of US Cannabis Reform


In the United States (US), three in 10 cannabis users develop cannabis use disorder (CUD). Usage patterns in line with CUD may be associated with socio-economic disadvantage, and other negative effects. Thus, research on CUD is paramount. To provide understanding around CUD, it is necessary to detail granular cannabis usage preferences, as some risk from cannabis use may be mitigated through informed behavioral choices by users. We describe cannabis usage preferences among US Global Drug Survey (GDS) respondents, primarily young men. The cross-sectional web-based GDS (2017) was completed by 8345 US-resident respondents (median age = 23, Interquartile Range 19–32; % male = 75.48) who reported cannabis use. Of those who reported cannabis use in the past year, most (78%) reported consuming their first joint more than an hour after waking, and about half the sample (49%) had their last joint 1–2 h before bed. Cannabis was used for a median of 250 days in the last year (almost daily). Respondents spent a median of four hours a day stoned when cannabis was used. High potency herbal cannabis was the preferred variant by 62% of participants. We suggest that frequent use of cannabis may increase risk of health harms, and highlight the need to mitigate problematic use. With the rapidly developing US cannabis market, possibly problematic usage patterns may indicate potential for CUD especially within young men.

Kumar, N., Puljević, C., Ferris, J., Winstock, A., & Barratt, M. J. (2019). Cannabis use patterns at the dawn of US cannabis reform. Journal of Cannabis Research, 1(1), 5.
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United States
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