Cannabis Use by College Students Seldom Tied to Negative Consequences, Concludes Study


By Nicolás Jose Rodriguez

A team of investigators affiliated with the University of Florida at Gainesville assessed the relationship between college students’ self-reported use of marijuana and other substances and academic outcomes.

College students who consume cannabis, but not other controlled substances, do not appear to be at significant risk of suffering from either substance use disorder or low academic achievement, according to data published in the Journal of American College Health, reported NORML.

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The team of researchers reported that those students who consumed cannabis (and did not consume either alcohol, cigarettes, or other substances) were less likely to report problems associated with substance abuse, skipping class, or poor grades than were those who were polysubstance users.

Details Of The Study

According to the results of the study, “cannabis-only users reported experiencing the least amount of cannabis-related consequences and CUD [cannabis use disorder] symptoms but used cannabis on more days in the past month than any other group except the all-substance user group (CACS—cannabis, alcohol, cigarettes and other substance users).

“These findings may indicate that although cannabis-only users use more frequently than other groups, this group may be at lower risk for negative consequences associated with use compared to all-substance users. This is in line with previous findings showing that polysubstance use is related to more negative consequences compared to single use,” added the researchers.

The current findings suggest that:

  • Alcohol use is prevalent among cannabis-using college students and;
  • Concurrent polysubstance use of four or more substances is associated with increased risk of cannabis-and academic-related problems including CUD symptom severity, skipping classes, and lower GPA.
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“When addressing cannabis use among college students, clinicians should assess and target multiple substances in addition to cannabis. Risks associated with sole cannabis use were low compared to concurrent substance use. Hence, efforts aimed at preventing the initiation of additional substance use may be warranted,” the researchers concluded.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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