Measuring cannabis quantities in online surveys: A rapid review and proposals for ways forward


Objectives:

Cannabis use quantities are relevant for determining cannabis-related harms. This research aims to provide an overview of the available methods to assess quantities through self-report.


Methods:

A rapid review of various strategies to collect information on cannabis use quantities through self-report. Two independent literature searches resulted in n = 38 studies included for review.


Results:

A total of n = 14 studies employed methods for collecting cannabis use quantities that are not suitable for online surveys (e.g., rolling a fake joint). Of the remaining n = 24 studies with items that are suitable for online surveys, the quantity assessment was performed in three different ways. The data collection was either carried out by asking (a) for the total number of joints (i.e., crude joint method), (b) for the total weight (i.e., crude weight method), or (c) for specific products separately, for example, for the amount of flower and resin (i.e., product-specific method). In only n = 8 studies, cannabis use quantities were ascertained by providing visual aids (e.g., illustration of various amounts of flower).


Conclusions:

The crude joint method and the product-specific method are the two most promising methods to collect information on cannabis use quantities. Using visual aids may potentially improve the accuracy of those methods.


Keywords:

cannabis; item; quantity; survey; visual aid.

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