18th October 2021
By Roland Sebestyén
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In a new study, researchers were able to identify the top reasons why and how people start using cannabis – among the obvious answers are some surprising confessions.

Psychology Today reports that according to a survey published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the majority of people (38%) use cannabis for recreational purposes.

However, a lot of people, one-third of the participants, use the drug for both recreational and medical purposes and only 29% said they consumed cannabis for only treating a medical condition.

According to the paper, compared to recreational users, medical cannabis users tend to be “women, married, not employed, [on] low income, older, worse health, and daily users.”

Psychology Today brought in a few older surveys from the last few years. One of these studies revealed that college users were using the drug for either fun/enjoyment, conformity (peer pressure), curiosity and experimentation, social motives, boredom or stress relief.

A few weeks ago researchers found that cannabis use has increased significantly among college students during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is reported that daily cannabis use increased to 7.9% in 2020 among full-time college students between the age of 19 and 22.

The findings also show “a significant increase” of 3.3 percentage points over the past five years. In comparison, the rate of daily use among non-students in the same age group was reported at 13% in 2020.

John Schulenberg, the lead investigator of the Monitoring the Future panel study, said: “Daily marijuana use is a clear health risk.

“The brain is still developing in the early 20s, and as the Surgeon General and others have reported, the scientific evidence indicates that heavy marijuana use can be detrimental to cognitive functioning and mental health.

“As of 2020, almost one in 12 college students used marijuana on a daily basis, and we know from our research and that of others that heavy marijuana use is associated with poor academic performance and dropping out of college.

“ For the almost one in 7 young adults aged 19-22 not in college who are daily marijuana users, getting a foothold on the roles and responsibilities of adulthood may be all the more difficult.

“Of course, the landscape of cannabis use is changing, so continued research is needed regarding negative consequences of heavy use.”

In a 2009 study, cited by Psychology Today, daily user participants were asked about the top reasons they consumed the drug – the most common answer was “relaxation.”

Among the other top answers were “feeling good, medical uses, inspiration, new ways of looking at things, coping with depression/anxiety, forgetting one’s worries, enjoyment of movies or music, better sleep and coping with boredom.”

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