Study: Marijuana Consumers More Knowledgeable About The Plant’s Health Effects Than Non-Users

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 6, 2013

    People who consume cannabis are more likely to be knowledgeable about the substance’s health effects than are those who abstain from it, according to survey data reported online in the International Journal of Public Health Policy.

    Researchers at the University of Zurich in Switzerland assessed the health literacy of some 12,000 male subjects. Investigators reported that those subjects who consumed cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco “searched for information about substances significantly more often via the Internet than abstainers.” These subjects also “reported better knowledge of risks associated with substance use and a marginally better ability to understand health information than abstainers,” the authors found.

    In particular, subjects who reported consuming cannabis weekly were four times more likely to search for health-related information as compared those who abstained, the study found.

    Researchers concluded, “Substance users appear to be more informed and knowledgeable about the risks of substance use than non-users.”

    Read the abstract of the study, “Health literacy and substance use in young Swiss men,” here.

    14 responses to “Study: Marijuana Consumers More Knowledgeable About The Plant’s Health Effects Than Non-Users”

    1. mexweed says:

      Sad that this study didn’t bother to consider the gorilla in the room (from the standpoint of Big 2WackGo and Big Alcohol)– namely that users of cannabis are more likely to find out or figure out how to avoid getting hooked on alcohol or tobacco (and that means $$$$).

      But they do note that the cannabis users are four times more informed but the tobacco and alcohol only 2 times more.

    2. Mr.NiceGuy says:

      This blew my mind.


    3. Mr.NiceGuy says:

      No but in all seriousness, they ought to do a study on just how misinformed non users are.

    4. Demonhype says:

      No kidding. I’m a non-user, but I’m often assumed to be a user because I am so well-informed on the realities of drugs and the failures of the Drug War policies. Like drug testing, one of the aspects of the Drug War about which people seem to be the most misinformed, or uninformed entirely. I am addressing this aspect in my anti-Drug War blog with a particular anti-drug testing focus. Here’s a list I’ve been putting together to raise awareness of the fact that drug testing, like everything in the failed Drug War, is based on skewed data, outright lies, and the assumption of an ignorant and morally panicked public that “there must be sound scientific proof” that it works or else they wouldn’t do it. And it’s prone to massive abuse, such as screening out people with protected health conditions like pregnancy.


      I plan to produce some handouts that can be printed and left about (like religious tracts) to raise awareness on this issue too. But this list can be printed out and left about as well. I keep about ten or so copies in my purse at all times, so I can help people I talk to about this get informed on the facts.

      Personally, I think drug testing companies should be brought up on charges of fraud for claiming “100% accuracy” for a procedure that has never once passed peer review.

    5. lockedoutofmyshed says:

      well of course! …our heads are NOT in the sand about it….those that oppose it refuse to see the good in cannabis because, their heads are buried either in the sand or so far up their asses that lack of air is choking them…yet,they refuse to listen……

    6. Vape Forest says:

      This comes as no real surprise to find that users are more insightful as to the health benefits than non-users. It would be nice if the powers that be were more inclined to allocate funds towards adequately educating the general population, especially when it pertains to their health.

    7. Michael lr says:

      Let us think,why would any one country turn away such a miracle plant called Marijuana and its family member hemp? whomever it is that gains the most by keeping Marijuana illegal please have mercy on us? Thank you and blessings. Michael lr

    8. Michael lr says:

      Speaking for those in chronic pain or other medical needs met. Marijuana helps get things done a little easier.
      Michael lr

    9. anony says:

      Doesn’t surprise me at all because as we get older, I think we find out many intellectual and successful people smoke and enjoy Cannabis whether medicinal or recreational.

    10. Anonymous says:

      The goverment has been feeding the public probaganda for the last 8 decades about the harmful effects of marijuana. Granted putting smoke in your lungs regardless of what kind is going to have its health risks, dont forget that. North korea has been feeding its public bullshit for years also so dont feel bad america, its not your fault

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