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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Jul 1;188:364-369. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.03.041. Epub 2018 May 1.

Understanding emerging forms of cannabis use through an online cannabis community: An analysis of relative post volume and subjective highness ratings.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address: meredith.meacham@ucsf.edu.
2
Department of Information Science, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Legalization of medical and recreational cannabis has coincided with an increase in novel forms of cannabis use and a burgeoning cannabis product industry. This research seeks to understand the occurrence of discussions about these emerging and traditional forms of use in an online social media discussion forum.

METHODS:

We analyzed posts to a cannabis-specific forum on the Reddit social media platform posted from January 2010-December 2016. For each of various keywords describing smoking, vaping, edibles, dabbing, and butane hash oil (BHO) concentrate use, we analyzed (1) relative prevalence of posts mentioning these cannabis forms of use; (2) user-reported subjective ratings of "highness" on a scale of 1-10; (3) the ten most common words mentioned in posts; and (4) the frequency of adverse health effect terms.

RESULTS:

Form of use was mentioned in approximately 17.7% of 2.26 million posts; smoking was the most commonly mentioned form of cannabis use. From 2010-2016, relative post volume increased significantly for posts mentioning dabbing (3.63/1000 additional posts per year, p < .001), butane hash oil terms (3.16/1000, p < .001), and edible terms (2.84/1000, p = .002). Mean subjective highness was significantly greater for posts mentioning dabbing (mean = 7.8, p < .001), butane hash oil terms (mean = 7.5, p < .001), and edible terms (mean = 7.2, p < .001) but not significantly different for vaping (mean = 6.7, p = .19), when compared to smoking (mean = 6.8).

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite limitations in representativeness, findings indicate a significant increase in online discussion of emerging cannabis forms of use over time and greater subjective effects of dabbing, butane hash oil, and edible use.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabis; Digital health; Edible; Online communities; Route of administration; Vaping

PMID:
29883950
PMCID:
PMC6692176
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.03.041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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