New information published in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research explores University students' motivations for using or not using cannabis and found various factors that might encourage use.
Researchers at Griffith University in Australia administered a survey to students aged 17 to 29 asking about their beliefs about the advantages and disadvantages of using cannabis, their perceptions of what others think they should do in relation to cannabis use, and reasons that might cause them to use or not use. Two weeks later, they completed a follow-up survey asking about their actual behavior over the previous two weeks.
Compared to non-users, users believed more strongly that cannabis would help them fit in with their friends, feel relaxed, forget their worries, and enjoy themselves. They also believed that their friends would approve of their use.
Additionally, users believed that certain factors including force of habit, wanting to relax, feeling stressed, and being around other people using cannabis would encourage them to use, while non-users rated work and study as strong reasons for not using cannabis.
“Findings from this study provide a better understanding of the different motivations of users and non-users of cannabis,” the authors note. “They also open up opportunities for targeting these differences when further developing initiatives in prevention and intervention in order to enhance the educational experience of young adults.”