Examine Analyzes Hashish Content material on TikTok, Together with Youth Considerations


A analysis examine printed in Drug and Alcohol Review discovered that hashish consumption is principally depicted as constructive on TikTok. Nonetheless, lead writer on the examine, Brienna Rutherford, defined the thought behind the examine. 

“Social media is an enormous a part of the fashionable world, with adolescents reporting that they spend a mean of eight hours on-line day-after-day,” mentioned Rutherford, a PhD candidate with College of Queensland in Australia. “Regardless of this excessive quantity of use, little is thought in regards to the potential dangers publicity to social media content material depicting substance use might have on viewers. Nonetheless, earlier than you may assess the results of publicity, we have to know what content material is on the market and accessible.”

The examine, entitled “Getting high for likes: Exploring cannabis-related content on TikTok,” establishes the intent of analyzing hashish content material on TikTok, which has over one billion customers, one-third of that are beneath 14 years of age. An estimated 63% of users between ages 12-17 use TikTok every day.

Seven main categories have been outlined, together with Humor/Leisure (71.74%), Experiences (42.90%), Way of life Acceptability (24.63%), Informative/How-To (7.5%), Creativity (5.4%), and Warning (2.7%).

“‘Humour/Leisure’ movies usually used comedic skits or storytimes to painting hashish use positively to viewers,” researchers wrote. “Movies regularly featured discussions of customers’ private hashish ‘Experiences’ by way of storytimes, re-enactments, and movies taken throughout energetic use. ‘Way of life Acceptability’ was additionally promoted utilizing hashtags related to pro-cannabis use communities (e.g. #cannamom, #stonersoftiktok, #stonertok).”

Researchers estimate that 54.14% of movies (seen collectively over 417 million occasions) have been portrayed as constructive. Additionally, a lot of the TikTok customers on movies have been Caucasian males between 25-50 years of age. Of the movies analyzed for this examine, solely 50 movies truly depicted consumption, comparable to smoking, vaping, or consuming edibles).

“The primary take-home level from this examine is that there’s a excessive variety of cannabis-related movies on TikTok which are a) publicly accessible through hyperlinks (even with out accounts!), b) don’t have any age restrictions or content material warning banners, and c) are selling use of hashish to viewers,” Rutherford added. “Whereas many nations are shifting in the direction of legalization, that doesn’t imply hashish use is with out danger and none of this content material addresses the potential destructive well being penalties related to use.”

Rutherford defined the subsequent steps towards figuring out the influence of cannabis-related movies on TikTok. “The subsequent step is clearly to evaluate whether or not viewing this content material has any influence on viewers’ attitudes, behaviors or danger/norms perceptions round substance use,” mentioned Rutherford. “Publicity to text- or image-based substance use content material on platforms like Fb and Instagram have been proven to affect the probability of substance use, so it’s probably {that a} extra participating platform and content material kind (comparable to TikTok’s short-form movies) might have a good bigger affect.”

Researchers additionally concluded that TikTok takes further precautions to warn viewers {that a} particular video comprises hashish. That is equally achieved with violent movies, or movies which may painting false info. 

“TikTok has taken some further steps to control the provision of substance associated content material by eradicating entry to hashtags which explicitly reference substance use (e.g., #hashish). Nonetheless, the movies themselves stay accessible—they’re simply not saved beneath these hashtags,” Rutherford mentioned. “Eradicating the content material or hashtags may not be an efficient method as creators subvert hashtag guidelines anyway (utilizing numerical values as an alternative of letters ‘#w33d’ to get across the express reference guidelines).”

Social media channels have turn out to be dwelling to many distinctive hashish creators, though many different companies comparable to Fb or Instagram have regularly banned customers who create hashish content material. Excessive profile content material creators comparable to YouTuber Chrissy Harless, whose account as soon as had 46,000 subscribers, was lately terminated with out a proof. 

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