ARCH Lab contributed to a study titled “Does how you use matter? The link between mode of use and cannabis-related risk”. Information on mode of use and cannabis-related risks are currently lacking, even though due to the recent legalization of cannabis there are more cannabis products available to consumers than ever before. This study looked at prevalence of modes of use among youth and associated risks (for example dependence, use with other substances) in an effort to broaden the literature on this subject.
The sample included 368 undergraduate students cannabis in the last 6 months, 71% of who identified as female. The results showed that joints were the most common mode, followed by bongs/water pipes, hand pipes, edibles, and vaporizers. Additionally, 88% of participants were multi-mode users. Cannabis related harm, dependence symptoms and dual use with alcohol was most likely seen among bong users, though this finding was attenuated after adjusting for other factors including sex, age, and cannabis-use frequency. Those youth reporting multi-modal use were more likely to also report more cannabis-related harms and misuse symptoms.
These findings suggest that multimodal use may be indicative of high-risk cannabis use patterns and is an important target for screening and intervention.