New study looks at social media influence on marijuana use
A new study found one in three youths in states with legal recreational marijuana engage with brands on social media.
The Cannabis Advertising and Social Media study (CASM) is based at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. The study was recently published in the journal “Drug and Alcohol Dependence.”
The study also found adolescents who liked or followed marijuana marketing on social media were five times more likely to have used marijuana over the past year compared to those who did not. The CASM study is the first study in the United States to examine the role of youth exposure to marijuana marketing in social media.
"Kids who can't buy or use non-medical marijuana shouldn't have to see these promotions and they shouldn't be able to interact with them," said Dr. Megan Moreno, the lead investigator of CASM and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "These numbers should all be zero."
The study surveyed 482 15-to-19-year-olds in six states where recreational marijuana use is legal. 22 percent of the survey takers have a favorite marijuana brand. Those who have such a preferred brand are eight times more likely to have used cannabis in the last 28 days.
CASM was co-authored by Jennifer Whitehill of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and Marina Jenkins of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
“Marijuana use has specific risks for adolescents given that their brains are still developing," said Moreno. It has been associated with poor memory and cognition, as well as mental health risks."
22 percent of the survey takers have a favorite marijuana brand. Those who have such a preferred brand are eight times more likely to have used cannabis in the last 28 days.