Please login first
High times for cannabis-related videos on YouTube during the COVID-19 lockdown: implications on the risk of cannabis use disorders
* 1 , 1, 2, 3 , 1 , 1, 4
1  National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research, The University of Queensland
2  Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland
3  Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, The Park Centre for Mental Health,
4  The School of Psychology, The University of Queensland


As a social media platform with billions of daily views, YouTube is a catalyst for influencing behaviour. During the pandemic, many found themselves turning to platforms like YouTube as a source of information and entertainment. This paper investigated the content of cannabis videos on YouTube during COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19 on cannabis use in the community was assessed by identifying 75 YouTube videos uploaded from March-May of 2020. We found that the contents of these videos display the impact of COVID-19 on cannabis use through four key reoccurring themes; (1) buying cannabis (45%), (2) promotion of health claims (36%), (3) the push for legalization (13%) and (4) safety information (5%). More vigorous monitoring and tighter restrictions around social media is required to mitigate the risk of misinformation and normalisation, especially among those who are most vulnerable, such as individuals with cannabis use disorder.

Keywords: COVID19; Cannabis; Social media; YouTube