Cannabis Use, Subjective Effects, and Expectancies: A Contextual Investigation

Project Details


Across both legal and illegal markets, cannabis users have access to a wide range of products varying in potency and mode of use. There is evidence that cannabis users show a preference within these available product types to achieve specific effects of intoxication (termed subjective effects). One such preference is the use of cannabis strains, which are broadly categorized as “indica” or “sativa”. Although there is little genetic distinction between the two strains, evidence suggests that cannabis users differentiate between indica and sativa by their reported and expected subjective effects. For example, indica strains are preferred for pain relief, sedation, and improving sleep, whereas sativa strains are preferred for improving energy and providing stimulant effects. These expectancies may steer the context of use and influence cannabis users to report different subjective effects for different strains where no true pharmacological differences exist. Currently, studies regarding strains have been conducted mostly in the United States where some customers may receive detailed information regarding strains and potential effects at the point of legal purchase. However, in countries and markets where the sale and use of cannabis is illegal, there is less visibility on what information users receive at the point of purchase regarding cannabis products, and what expectancies they hold regarding strains. Additionally, although evidence suggests there may be a relationship between context, expectancies, and subjective effects of cannabis, this link has not been yet explored in depth. Therefore, the aim of the proposed research is to examine how cannabis users’ expectancies regarding the properties of cannabis interact with their context to shape subjective effects experienced by users.

Study 1 will investigate and describe the choice of products and transaction methods available to people who purchase cannabis where it is illegal. Study 2 will use a survey to examine expectancies and contextual factors as predictors of acute adverse reactions and subjective effects, as well as elucidate contextual factors as predictors of the type of cannabis consumed. Study 3 will use an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methodological design to investigate physical and social contextual factors as predictors of acute adverse reactions and subjective effects of cannabis use.
StatusNot started


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.