Tag Archives: University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo study: Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles

9 Feb

Often children who evidence signs of a substance abuse problem come from homes where there is a substance abuse problem. That problem may be generational. eMedicineHealth lists some of the causes of substance abuse:

Substance Abuse Causes
Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.
Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse.
o Chaotic home environment
o Ineffective parenting
o Lack of nurturing and parental attachment
Factors related to a child’s socialization outside the family may also increase risk of drug abuse.
o Inappropriately aggressive or shy behavior in the classroom
o Poor social coping skills
o Poor school performance
o Association with a deviant peer group
o Perception of approval of drug use behavior
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/substance_abuse/article_em.htm
Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self-esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs? http://archives.drugabuse.gov/Published_Articles/Sally.html

Science Daily reported in: Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18:

A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.
The study led by UW Medicine researchers interviewed 521 students recruited from four Seattle public middle schools. Researchers used data from annual assessments when students were ages 12-15 and then again when they were 18. The results were published in the journal Addiction.
“The findings suggest that if we can prevent or reduce chronic depression during early adolescence, we may reduce the prevalence of cannabis use disorder,” said lead author Isaac Rhew, research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
What researchers called “a 1 standard deviation increase” in cumulative depression during early adolescence was associated with a 50 percent higher likelihood of cannabis-use disorder.
According to researchers, during the past decade cannabis has surpassed tobacco with respect to prevalence of use among adolescents. Cannabis and alcohol are the two most commonly used substances among youth in the United States. They pointed to one national study showing increases in prevalence of cannabis use disorder and alcohol use disorder in the United States, especially among young adults.
Longitudinal studies looking at the link between depression and later use of alcohol and cannabis, however, have been mixed. Some show a link. Others don’t. But most studies have assessed adolescent depression at a single point in time — not cumulatively, said the researchers. Further, there have been differences in how substance use has been measured ranging from the initiation of any use to heavier problematic forms of use.
The study oversampled for students with depressive and/or conduct problems. The researchers were surprised to see that the prevalence of cannabis and alcohol use disorder in this study was notably higher than national estimates with 21 percent meeting criteria for cannabis use disorder and 20 percent meeting criteria for alcohol use disorder at age 18.
What effect the easing of marijuana laws in Washington state had on the youth is unclear. Researchers said it would be informative to conduct a similar study in a state with more strict marijuana laws to understand whether the relationship between depression and cannabis misuse would still hold in areas where marijuana may be less accessible…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717151031.htm

Citation:

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18
Seattle-focused study suggests earlier intervention with depressed youths could reduce rate of cannabis-use disorder
Date: July 17, 2017
Source: University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
Summary:
Young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, found a study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth.

Journal Reference:
Isaac C. Rhew, Charles B. Fleming, Ann Vander Stoep, Semret Nicodimos, Cheng Zheng, Elizabeth McCauley. Examination of cumulative effects of early adolescent depression on cannabis and alcohol use disorder in late adolescence in a community-based cohort. Addiction, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/add.13907

Resources:

Marijuana medical benefits – large review finds very few https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/marijuana-medical-benefits-large-review/

Marijuana and Cannabinoids | NCCIH
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/marijuana

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/marijuana/           https://drwilda.com/tag/what-is-medical-marijuana/             https://drwilda.com/tag/marijuana-how-can-it-affect-your-health/

Science Daily reported in Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles:

Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new University of Waterloo study.
The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.
The researchers also found that descriptive information, such as symbols and words, are more effective in helping consumers understand THC potency and approximate serving sizes for cannabis products.
“Using THC numbers to express potency of cannabis products has little or no meaning to most young Canadians,” said David Hammond of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. “We’ve known for many years that people struggle to understand the numbers on the back of food packages and cigarette packages. Consumers seem to have equal or even more difficulty with THC numbers, which are used to indicate the potency of cannabis products.”
He added, “Effective THC labelling and packaging could help reduce to accidental over-consumption of cannabis edibles and adverse events, which have increased in jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis….”
The study also found that a ‘traffic light’ system, which uses traffic light colours to indicate potency, allowed two-thirds of respondents to identify products with high levels of THC, compared to 33 per cent of respondents who only used numerical THC information.
In 2018, Statistics Canada found that 32 per cent of cannabis users consumed edibles.
“New regulations that limit cannabis edibles to a maximum of 10 mg per package are particularly important given that most consumers do not understand THC numbers,” Hammond said. “However, the findings suggest that consumers will need easier-to-understand THC information for other products, including oils, concentrates and dried flower.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200207123801.htm

Citation:

Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles
Date: February 7, 2020
Source: University of Waterloo
Summary:
Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new study. The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.

Journal Reference:
Cesar Leos-Toro, Geoffrey T. Fong, Samantha B. Meyer, David Hammond. Cannabis labelling and consumer understanding of THC levels and serving sizes. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2020; 107843 DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.107843

Here is the press release from the University of Waterloo:

Waterloo News

Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2020

Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new University of Waterloo study.
The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.
The researchers also found that descriptive information, such as symbols and words, are more effective in helping consumers understand THC potency and approximate serving sizes for cannabis products.
“Using THC numbers to express potency of cannabis products has little or no meaning to most young Canadians,” said David Hammond of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. “We’ve known for many years that people struggle to understand the numbers on the back of food packages and cigarette packages. Consumers seem to have equal or even more difficulty with THC numbers, which are used to indicate the potency of cannabis products.”

He added, “Effective THC labelling and packaging could help reduce to accidental over-consumption of cannabis edibles and adverse events, which have increased in jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis.”
Health Canada currently requires cannabis packages to list the ingredients, product type, potency and other essential information, including weight in grams, and percentage of THC (or CBD, depending on the product), but not symbols or intuitive labeling on THC levels.
The researchers conducted two experiments with 870 Canadians aged 16-30 in 2017: The first investigated whether consumers could understand how many servings there were in a package, and the second examined if consumers could identify how potent the product was.
The study found approximately 6 per cent of consumers could correctly identify serving size on products that had no label, or only listed the weight. Seventy-seven per cent could identify the serving when the dosage was listed.
The study also found that a ‘traffic light’ system, which uses traffic light colours to indicate potency, allowed two-thirds of respondents to identify products with high levels of THC, compared to 33 per cent of respondents who only used numerical THC information.
In 2018, Statistics Canada found that 32 per cent of cannabis users consumed edibles.
“New regulations that limit cannabis edibles to a maximum of 10 mg per package are particularly important given that most consumers do not understand THC numbers,” Hammond said. “However, the findings suggest that consumers will need easier-to-understand THC information for other products, including oils, concentrates and dried flower.”
The study, Cannabis labelling and consumer understanding of THC levels and serving sizes, was published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, and co-authored by Cesar Leos-Toro, Geoffrey Fong, Samantha Meyer and David Hammond, all at the University of Waterloo.                                                                   https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/few-consumers-understand-thc-levels-cannabis-edibles

If you suspect that your child has a substance abuse problem, you will have to seek help of some type. You will need a plan of action. The Partnership for a Drug Free America lists 7 Steps to Take and each step is explained at the site. http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

If your child has a substance abuse problem, both you and your child will need help. “One day at a time” is a famous recovery affirmation which you and your child will live the meaning. The road to recovery may be long or short, it will have twists and turns with one step forward and two steps back. In order to reach the goal of recovery, both parent and child must persevere.

Related:

University of Washington study: Heroin use among young suburban and rural non-traditional users on the
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/13/university-of-washington-study-heroin-use-among-young-suburban-and-rural-non-traditional-users-on-the-increase/

Resources

Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base
http://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/teenage-substance-abuse/adolescent-substance-abuse/signs-drug-use/

Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse
http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/drugsofabuse/a/driug_abuse20.htm?r=et

Is Your Teen Using?
http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

Al-Anon and Alateen
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

WEBMD: Parenting and Teen Substance Abuse
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/teen-substance-abuse-choosing-a-treatment-program-topic-overview

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a very good booklet for families What is Substance Abuse Treatment?
http://store.samhsa.gov/home

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a web site for teens and parents that teaches about drug abuse NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/

THE JURY IS OUT ON THE MEDICAL USES OF MARIJUANA.

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