New study takes a look at the relationship between cannabis social media sites and youth weed consumption

Researchers at Washington State University found that young people see positive cannabis messages on their social media sites.

“Young people, in particular, have really grown up with more cannabis information than previous generations,” said Jessica Willoughby, first author of a study published in the journal Health Communication and an associate professor in WSU’s Murrow College of Communication. Professor. “We found that they were viewing more positive messages about cannabis use and much less about the risks.”

The study received partial funding through Washington State Initiative 502, which taxes Production, processing and sale of wholesale as well as retail marijuana.

about study

according to WSU Press release made available to benzinga: “These messages were also associated with adolescents’ intention to use cannabis and their actual use for college students.”

Researchers who surveyed 350 teens and 966 college students in Washington state found that “more than 80% reported seeing pro-cannabis messages on social media, such as posts about getting high or claims that marijuana is harmless.” ” according to the study, Most of these anti-weed messages were spread by celebrities or through lyrics in songs.

test results: Adolescents who reported viewing high levels of positive messages were more likely to indicate intention to use cannabis.

The study also showed that participants who reported seeing anti-cannabis messages viewed them less frequently than pro-cannabis ones. Furthermore, “among youth who already believed that cannabis use could lead to negative consequences, such as damaging their brain or doing poorly in school, viewing anti-cannabis messages appeared to reduce their intentions to use ”

Cannabis training in school health classes

co-writer Stacey HustA professor in WSU’s Murrow College of Communication said parents may not understand that if their children are using social networking sites, they will probably see cannabis messages.

“We need to get this training in schools at a very young age. At least in middle school and high school, health classes need to talk about cannabis and how it can be harmful to the developing brain,” Hust said.

His colleague and co-author Willoughby agreed. “Prevention efforts can have an impact. Since youth are seeing more of that positive cannabis content, it is worthwhile to put out more content highlighting the risks, especially for young people like them.

Image Credits: and bukhta yuri on Shutterstock edited by benzinga

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