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Comparative Study
, 42 (4), 377-84

Comparison of Outcome Expectancies for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Botanical Marijuana

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Comparative Study

Comparison of Outcome Expectancies for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Botanical Marijuana

Kirstin J Lauritsen et al. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse.

Abstract

Background: Although initially developed for medical purposes, synthetic cannabinoids have also been consumed for recreational purposes.

Objective: To evaluate whether agreement with positive and negative outcome expectancies differed for synthetic cannabinoids versus botanical marijuana, and assess reported reasons for using synthetic cannabinoids.

Method: Using a web-based recruitment and data collection procedure, 186 adults who had used both synthetic cannabinoids and botanical marijuana and 181 adults who had used botanical marijuana but not synthetic cannabinoids, completed measures of outcome expectancies and other relevant questionnaires.

Results: A significant interaction revealed that participants who had used both synthetic cannabinoids and botanical marijuana indicated lower agreement with positive expectancies for synthetic cannabinoids, and higher agreement with positive expectancies for botanical marijuana, than did those participants who used only botanical marijuana. There was no interaction between type of drug and use history on agreement with negative expectancies, and participants agreed more strongly with negative outcome expectancies for synthetic cannabinoids than for botanical marijuana whether they had used one or both types of these drugs. The most frequently provided reasons for using synthetic cannabinoids included availability, perceived legality, cost, curiosity, and social interaction.

Conclusion: Given growing public acceptance of recreational and medical marijuana, coupled with negative perceptions and increasing regulation of synthetic cannabinoid compounds, botanical marijuana is likely to remain more available and more popular than synthetic cannabinoids.

Keywords: Synthetic cannabinoids; marijuana; outcome expectancies.

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