Frequent exposure to billboard advertisements of recreational cannabis may lead to problematic use among children, a new study finds.
The findings were made available online in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs.
The study included 172 participants, all of which were either in their late teens or early adulthood, and regarded as frequent cannabis users.
Exposure to cannabis products involved social media posts, physical billboards, and other brand marketing campaign strategies.
From the findings: “Adolescents who saw billboards rarely/sometimes had 288 5 times the odds of cannabis use disorder (CUD), whereas youth who saw them most/all of the time had 7 times the odds of weekly use and 6 times the odds of CUD.”
“Adolescents who owned/were likely to own branded merchandise had nearly 23 times the odds of weekly use, and those with a favorite brand had 3 times the odds of weekly use and CUD. Adolescents who reported seeing promotions on Instagram rarely/sometimes had 85% lower odds of weekly use, and those who saw them most/all of the time had 93% lower odds,” the findings also showed.
Overall, the findings caution the marketing of legalized cannabis, which may have drastic negative effects on adolescents.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.