The US has seen an increase in the popularity of highly concentrated forms of cannabis (hereafter concentrates) and too little is known about the potential risks associated with their use.
The present study aims to better understand the patterns and outcomes of concentrates use through the perspectives of young adult users.
Participants (N = 234, 27.9% female) aged 18-35 years were recruited using SurveyMonkey Audience® and had ingested concentrates at least once in the past 6 months. They were queried on concentrates use patterns (e.g., frequency, medical/recreational) and the effects experienced after using concentrates (e.g., physiological/psychological, strength/duration).
A total of 27.8% of participants reported frequent use of concentrates (≥10 days in past month). Those who used for medical purposes or lived in states where use is legal were more likely to use concentrates frequently. While most (64.2%) did not report experiencing potentially serious side effects, some reported a sense of altered reality/confusion (23.3%), rapid heartbeat (11.2%), lung pain (9.9%) and severe paranoia (6.9%). Among those who used concentrates in the past month (N = 168), 72.6% used concentrates with other cannabis forms, 57.7% used along with alcohol, and 22.6% used with other drugs.
Continued research on concentrates use in the US is needed. Research-informed policies that foster safe and responsible use of concentrates are necessary to protect users, especially those who use concentrates frequently, from potential negative side effects.
Cannabis; cannabis concentrates; online survey; young adult
- PMID: 29513625
- DOI: 10.1080/00952990.2018.1436179