TikTok server provides “humorous” and “interesting” cannabis videos to teens: researchers

According to researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ), young people are at risk of illegal drug use after being exposed to a TikTok video that describes cannabis use as “humorous or entertaining” rather than dangerous.

A New research An analysis of 881’s published TikTok videos found that 54% had positive emotions and were watched more than 416 times.

On the other hand, only 2.7% (24 out of 881 videos) warned viewers about the dangers associated with high-frequency cannabis use.

First author and PhD student Briena Rutherford From UQ National Youth Drug Use Research Center He said the result was “concern.”

“We know that this exposure affects adolescent attitudes, can lead to problematic cannabis use, and can pose a risk of mental health problems and neuropsychological decline. “I’m at Rutherford.” Said..

She said that most of the content comes from parts of the world where recreational use of drugs is legal when viewed from where drugs are banned, but “it affects their attitude. There is a possibility. ” For example, in Australia, federal law still prohibits the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.

The survey found that about 42% of videos share their personal cannabis experience. Nearly a quarter, on the other hand, promoted social or cultural acceptance of cannabis use.

According to co-author Gary Chang, this demonstrates a perception of cannabis’ cultural and social acceptance.

“We found that the majority described cannabis use as humorous or entertaining,” said Chan, adding that he saw “an increase in the number of cannabis-supporting groups beginning to emerge online.” ..

Epoch Times Photo
Cannabis sample from the Catalyst Cannabis Company in Santa Ana, CA, February 18, 2021. (John Fredricks / The Epoch Times)

TikTok’s community guidelines state that the platform “does not permit the depiction, promotion, or trading of drugs or other controlled substances.”

We have also recently taken steps to protect young people from dangerous behavior online, such as removing hashtags that explicitly refer to substance use. However, Rutherford said the video is still open to the public.

She suggested improved regulation and surveillance to minimize the exposure of content that promotes substance use. For example, introducing age restrictions and warning banners on public content indicating substance use.

“Cannabis remains one of the most widely used substances internationally among adolescents and has been associated with increased risk of depression and suicide in young adulthood,” the researchers said.

According to Rutherford, one-third of American TikTok users are under the age of 14. In Australia, according to 2020, TikTok is “dominated” by Generation Alpha and Generation Z, which make up more than 70% of all users. A study of Roy Morgan.

Young people are “especially vulnerable” to the negative effects of illegal drug use, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

“(Material) use is also associated with adverse economic and social consequences such as unemployment, poor education, poverty, homelessness and family collapse,” the website said.

“A significant environmental impact of adolescents’ early and ongoing drug use is their high exposure to marketing and media depictions of substance use.”

Meanwhile, Kendra Losee, founder of Mota Marketing, a California-based cannabis-centric marketing agency, said: Written on December 20, 2021 People often “avoid” by adding emojis to hashtags or using spelling variations to prevent videos that feature cannabis use from being deleted.

Losee added that TikTok is “a great way for cannabis companies to connect with their viewers,” especially Gen Z.

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based Vietnamese reporter with a focus on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]