Sociodemographic differences and experienced effects of young adults who use cannabis mainly for self-medication versus recreationally in Finland

Aleksi Hupli, Ali Unlu, Jussi Jylkkä, Atte Oksanen

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkeliScientificvertaisarvioitu

1 Sitaatiot (Scopus)
10 Lataukset (Pure)


Cannabis use continues to increase worldwide, and a number of nation states are changing their cannabis policies. Policy changes require research into key populations, namely, people who use cannabis. This study aims to examine sociodemographic differences of young Finns who reported using cannabis mainly for self-medication versus mainly recreationally, as well as their reported effects of cannabis use.

The data come from an anonymous online survey (N = 247, 70.0% males, 25.9% females, 4.1% other) that was analysed using multiple logistic regression. The authors focused on whether various demographic indicators differed between those who reportedly used cannabis mainly for recreational purposes and mainly for self-medicinal purposes. The authors also qualitatively examined the respondents’ experienced effects of cannabis, both desired and undesired.

Being older and female, living in a smaller city and earlier age of initiation of cannabis use were statistically significant in predicting the medicinal use of cannabis. The majority of recreational effects were related to themes such as relaxation and pleasure, but many participants also reported desired medical effects. Similarly, many participants reported several undesired effects.

Research limitations/implications
Understanding especially young people’s motivations to use cannabis, which include using it for various medical effects, can improve the design of harm reduction and treatment programmes as well as enhance the well-being of people who use cannabis.

This study gives a nuanced account of sociodemographic factors and motivations of young people who use cannabis in Finland as well as the reported effects it has on them, which complements data from national drug surveys.
JulkaisuDrugs, Habits and Social Policy
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaE-pub ahead of print - 22 elok. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä


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