Study Shows 20% Increase in Frequency of Cannabis Consumption in Recreational States

New research published in the journal Addiction On August 24, we analyzed cannabis consumption data across the country, with a particular focus on adult identical twins.calledImpact of recreational cannabis legalization on cannabis use: a longitudinal discordant twin studyThis study used twins to examine the frequency of cannabis use in two different states.

“In this study, in a large sample of prospectively evaluated adult twins from similar cohorts of individuals with different cannabis policies in demographically similar states born in Colorado and Minnesota, We assessed the impact of recreational cannabis legalization,” said the researchers. presented in their introduction“While many participants still live in the state in which they were born, some have moved to other states, resulting in pair mismatches on exposure to recreational legalization. ”

Researchers examined data from a total of 3,452 individuals (1,700 in Minnesota and 1,752 in Colorado) from either the Minnesota Center for Twin Research or the University of Colorado Boulder Center for Antisocial Substance Dependence. All individuals had previously been questioned about cannabis use around 2014, when Colorado legalized recreational cannabis and Minnesota legalized medical cannabis. They were divided into different types of twins: sex twins (363 pairs), same-sex dizygotic twins (208 pairs), and heterozygotic twins (129 pairs).

The researchers concluded that there were no genetic influences in the 111 pairs of twins leading to frequency of cannabis consumption, but that “there was a genetic correlation between marijuana use before and after legalization that pre-existing The genetic impact was moderated by the legal environment, lower in states with legalization than in states without it.”

“Using a longitudinal design that considered age, gender, and previous cannabis use, we found up to a 24% increase in average cannabis use frequency attributable to legalization,” the researchers explained. “Furthermore, twin-twin control results showed that among identical pairs, twins living in legal conditions were up to 20% more likely to use cannabis than twins living illegally. It shows high.”

However, the researchers also found that nearly 92% of the participants were white, predicting how the inclusion of nonwhite participants would change the results. “Before recreational legalization, black Americans borne disproportionately the consequences of cannabis law enforcement,” the researchers said. wrote. “Racial disparities in pre-legalization enforcement may mean that legalization-related environmental changes experienced by black Americans were more dramatic than those experienced by their white counterparts.” , but these samples cannot effectively address this issue.”

In conclusion, the researchers said, this particular topic could use more in-depth research to better understand how cannabis affected people in other states. Using a separate twin control analysis, we found an approximately 20% increase in the frequency of cannabis use, consistent with a causal effect of recreational legalization,” they wrote. These results alone do not indicate how more frequent use in states with legalization will affect health and behavioral effects. Future work is needed to further address the complex issue of vulnerability to marijuana in use.”

On August 24, a new study from the National Institutes of Health found that consumption of cannabis and hallucinogens is at an all-time high for individuals between the ages of 19 and 30. Consumption in this age group is “significantly higher in 2021 than he was 5 years ago and 10 years ago,” according to the researchers, making it the highest level of consumption since 1988. .

Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in an accompanying statement that the study is important for understanding the long-term effects of cannabis on young people. This data provides a window into young adults’ preferred substances and usage patterns as they change over time. We need to know more about the health effects of consuming the various potencies and forms of algae,” said Volkow. “Young people are at a critical stage in their lives and are honing their ability to make informed choices. important to lead to

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