Subjective Cannabis Effects and Contemporary Young Adult Language

Subjective Cannabis Effects and Contemporary Young Adult Language - GCI Content Hub - Global Cannabis Intelligence

“How high do you feel?”

For many cannabis consumers, this can be a tricky question to answer in a way that is truly reflective of their current state.

To remedy this, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Washington have been devising a new scale, incorporating language commonly used amongst young adults, to help better differentiate between the various subjective effects of cannabis experienced by people.

As cannabis legalization continues to sweep across US states and countries around the world, understanding the nuances surrounding intoxication has become increasing important as “predictors of use-related consequences”.

Cannabis Effects and Contemporary Young Adult Language

The study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, included 106 participants (young adults between 18-25) completing daily reports of substance use for up to 14 consecutive days.

Moreover, the researchers looked at cannabis delivery mechanisms to see if subjective cannabis effects were influenced by how the participant had ingested the plant (for example, blunts vs. joints vs. vaping).

Participants were evaluated using two measurement scales: the first being the “How high do you feel?” 0-100 rating, which has previously been used in similar studies; the second using a modern lexicon of language, asking whether people aligned with feeling either “relaxed”, “calm/chill”, “high” and “stoned/baked”.

Study Results

Unsurprisingly, the “number of hits” was positively correlated with subjective cannabis effects.

Perhaps more curious, when analysing the modes of administration, vaping seemed to induce the greatest subjective effects for study participants, with weaker effects for those smoking blunts or joints.

Moreover, the report highlights that “subjective cannabis effects were higher on nicotine co-use days after controlling for cannabis consumption”.

More research is likely to take place “focused on characterizing the variability in cannabis effects”.

For the time being, the next time a cannabis consumer is asked to describe their level of intoxication, they’ll be able to say with confidence that they are “baked” and so doth their cap to the researchers who have transitioned this colloquialism into academia.

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