Study Analyzes Cannabis Content on TikTok, Including Youth Concerns

A exploration review published in Drug and Alcohol Critique discovered that cannabis usage is primarily depicted as positive on TikTok. Nonetheless, direct author on the analyze, Brienna Rutherford, discussed the believed powering the examine. 

“Social media is a massive section of the fashionable world, with adolescents reporting that they devote an normal of eight several hours online every single working day,” explained Rutherford, a PhD candidate with College of Queensland in Australia. “Despite this large volume of use, little is acknowledged about the probable risks exposure to social media material depicting material use may perhaps have on viewers. Nevertheless, right before you can evaluate the effects of publicity, we have to have to know what written content is out there and available.”

The study, entitled “Getting superior for likes: Checking out cannabis-similar information on TikTok,” establishes the intent of examining hashish articles on TikTok, which has in excess of a person billion customers, a person-third of which are underneath 14 many years of age. An believed 63% of buyers concerning ages 12-17 use TikTok each day.

Seven primary classes were being described, together with Humor/Entertainment (71.74%), Encounters (42.90%), Way of life Acceptability (24.63%), Instructive/How-To (7.5%), Creative imagination (5.4%), and Warning (2.7%).

“‘Humour/Entertainment’ videos usually made use of comedic skits or storytimes to portray hashish use positively to viewers,” scientists wrote. “Videos frequently highlighted conversations of users’ particular hashish ‘Experiences’ as a result of storytimes, re-enactments, and movies taken all through energetic use. ‘Lifestyle Acceptability’ was also promoted using hashtags related with pro-hashish use communities (e.g. #cannamom, #stonersoftiktok, #stonertok).”

Scientists estimate that 54.14% of video clips (seen collectively about 417 million moments) were being portrayed as positive. Also, most of the TikTok end users on video clips were Caucasian males between 25-50 decades of age. Of the movies analyzed for this examine, only 50 videos really depicted intake, these as smoking, vaping, or feeding on edibles).

“The key consider-household place from this analyze is that there is a high variety of cannabis-similar videos on TikTok that are a) publicly obtainable via inbound links (even with out accounts!), b) have no age restrictions or written content warning banners, and c) are selling use of hashish to viewers,” Rutherford additional. “While a lot of nations are moving towards legalization, that does not suggest cannabis use is with out risk and none of this material addresses the potential negative wellbeing outcomes associated with use.”

Rutherford explained the future methods towards identifying the affect of cannabis-associated movies on TikTok. “The upcoming move is clearly to evaluate irrespective of whether viewing this material has any impression on viewers’ attitudes, behaviors or chance/norms perceptions about material use,” mentioned Rutherford. “Exposure to text- or graphic-primarily based compound use written content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram have been shown to impact the chance of material use, so it is probably that a extra participating platform and written content style (this kind of as TikTok’s short-type video clips) may possibly have an even greater impact.”

Scientists also concluded that TikTok will take extra safety measures to alert viewers that a precise online video includes cannabis. This is in the same way finished with violent films, or videos that could possibly portray wrong data. 

“TikTok has taken some extra methods to regulate the availability of substance similar information by eradicating access to hashtags which explicitly reference substance use (e.g., #cannabis). Having said that, the videos on their own stay accessible—they are just no for a longer time stored under these hashtags,” Rutherford claimed. “Removing the information or hashtags could also not be an powerful technique as creators subvert hashtag regulations anyway (utilizing numerical values as an alternative of letters ‘#w33d’ to get about the express reference rules).”

Social media channels have grow to be house to many exceptional hashish creators, while several other companies these as Fb or Instagram have usually banned buyers who create cannabis articles. Large profile written content creators these types of as YouTuber Chrissy Harless, whose account as soon as experienced 46,000 subscribers, was not too long ago terminated without an rationalization.