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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2019 Jul 29:1-8. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2019.1645371. [Epub ahead of print]

Aversiveness and Meaningfulness of Uncomfortable Experiences with Edible Cannabis.

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a Department of Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York , Albany , USA.
b Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, VA San Diego Health Care System , Menlo Park , CA , USA.
c Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego School of Medicine , La Jolla , California.


Cannabis remains the most frequently used illicit drug in the United States. As its legal status has changed, more people have turned to oral administration ("edibles"). 172 individuals who reported an uncomfortable experience with edible cannabis completed an online survey. Despite the aversive nature of the experience, 62.9% of the sample reported that the edible experience was at least somewhat meaningful and the majority of participants (95.2%) did not report any medical problems. The most common non-medical problem reported was going to bed early or lying down (75.8%). Most participants (69.2%) reported that dose was the key contributor to their negative experience. Participants who rated the experience as more aversive were less likely to use edibles again, r (167) = - .180, p < . 05. In addition, the duration of the aversive experience correlated positively with aversiveness rating, r (167) = . 244, p < . 05. With increased legalization of cannabis, edible use may rise. Dose seems to be associated with uncomfortable experiences with edible cannabis. Notwithstanding these uncomfortable experiences, the vast majority of the sample used cannabis edibles again, reported that the experience was at least somewhat meaningful, and did not report significant problems associated with the experience.


Cannabis; edibles; substance use

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