Tweets About Cannabis’ Health Benefits are full of Mistruths

Tweets About Cannabis' Health Benefits are full of Mistruths

There has been a lot of talk in the U.S. about legalizing recreational cannabis, and about cannabis’ potential to help with health issues. Scientists working in medicine may have a lot to discover about cannabis’ ability to improve health. However, the medical community does know that short-term health consequences of cannabis use include impaired short-term memory, impaired attention, impaired coordination and sleep problems. I study ways to inform public health and policy using data from social media. As part of my research, I monitor Twitter conversation topics pertaining to health-related attitudes and behaviors, including what social bots — automated accounts that use AI to steer discussions and promote specific ideas or products on social media — post on the platform. In our recent study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, my colleagues and I wanted to describe topics of conversations pertaining to cannabis use. We also wanted to determine whether social bots were taking part in this conversation. Tweets about the medical benefits of cannabis often exaggerate the medical benefits. (HQuality/ Cannabis and health While proponents of legalizing cannabis say that the drug is safer than alcohol, repeated cannabis use is associated with the potential for cannabis dependence,…

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