Cannabis study: Consumption rates among college-aged youth hits 30-year record

Cannabis study: Consumption rates among college-aged youth hits 30-year record

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

More college students are consuming cannabis than ever before.

Based on the findings of the annual national Monitoring the Future Panel study in 2016, cannabis consumption rates among college students hit its peak level over the past three decades.

The outcome remained the same last year and, according to researchers who led the University of Michigan study, young adults are consuming cannabis outside of the college campus, too.

Gradually, the number of young adults who use weed has started to increase. This, combined with sweeping legislation, has contributed to record cannabis consumption figures amongst youths aged 19 to 22 across the nation.

Cannabis prevalence levels have crept up since 2006

Last year, cannabis consumption was reported by 38 percent of full-time college students. Those students claimed to have used weed within the last 12 months.

An additional 21 percent of college students aged 19 to 22 said they had consumed cannabis within the last 30 days. In 2016, prevalence levels soared to their highest since 1987. In 2017, prevalence levels were similar to those seen the year prior.

Compared to an annual prevalence of 30 percent back in 2006 and the respective 17 percent who claimed to have used weed in the last 30 days, the cannabis consumption prevalence levels in 2017 indicate progressive growth in the number of full-tume college students using weed.

A gradual trend is also noticeable among non-full-time college students of the same age group. However, those youngsters seemed to use more weed than the full-time college students. Last year, annual cannabis consumption prevalence was 41 percent and the 30-day prevalence was 28 percent. These figures have not been topped since the 1980s.

Number of college students using weed daily is growing

College students who smoked weed 20 or more times in the last 30 days were considered to be daily or near-daily users. In 2017, 4.4 percent of college students fell into this category, a figure that has remained fairly steady for the last three years. Back in 2016, the percentage of college students using weed daily was 5.9.

Young adults who are not enrolled in college who used cannabis daily in 2017 hit 13.2 percent. This is a stark contrast to the 6.7 percent of daily consumers in 2006. The figures suggest that daily cannabis use among the group had doubled over the last decade.

Nowadays, amidst the rise of legal weed, daily cannabis use is three times more prevalent among young adults who do not attend college as it is among students who are enrolled in college.