Results from the Colorado Cannabis Users Survey on Health (CUSH), 2016

  • Alexandra Elyse ContrerasEmail author
  • Katelyn E. Hall
  • Daniel I. Vigil
  • Allison Rosenthal
  • Alejandro Azofeifa
  • Michael Van Dyke
Original Article


Patterns of cannabis consumption among regular users within a legalized environment have not been explored in detail. We aimed to conduct a survey among regular cannabis users to collect detailed information on frequency of use, methods of use, amounts consumed, and adverse health effects experienced. Data was collected via the Cannabis Users Survey on Health, a self-administered, anonymous online survey. Participants were adults (age 21+), residing in Colorado, who used cannabis at least once in the past month. Survey administration occurred June through October 2016. Of 1297 participant responses, 65.1% used cannabis at least once daily and smoking was the most common method of use (83.1%). Cannabis flower was the product most frequently purchased (n = 1006) and in the largest average amount per month (10 g). Adverse health effects were experienced by ~ 40%; most prevalent was paranoia (20.8%). The Cannabis Users Survey on Health provided data needed to inform public health on patterns of cannabis use in Colorado. Surveillance of adverse effects is needed to assess severity. High prevalence of daily use and smoking are concerning for long-term health effects. Continued data collection will allow public health to better assess the effects of increased cannabis availability on use patterns and health.


Cannabis use Cannabis legalization Cannabis health effects Public health surveillance Cannabis survey 



The authors would like to thank Lisa Barker, Maria Butler, Michele Coleman, Troy Curtis, Erika Kelley, David Ross, Aaron Shipman, Amber Vaughn, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).


This publication was supported by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cooperative agreement number 5U38OT00143. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CSTE, SAMHSA, CDC, or the Department of Health and Human Services.

This study/report was supported in part by an appointment to the Applied Epidemiology Fellowship Program administered by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cooperative Agreement Number 1U38OT000143-04 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Authors Alexandra Elyse Contreras, Katelyn E. Hall, Daniel I. Vigil, Allison Rosenthal, Alejandro Azofeifa, and Michael Van Dyke ensure accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed regarding human participants and informed consent.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Elyse Contreras
    • 1
  • Katelyn E. Hall
    • 1
  • Daniel I. Vigil
    • 1
  • Allison Rosenthal
    • 1
  • Alejandro Azofeifa
    • 2
  • Michael Van Dyke
    • 1
  1. 1.Colorado Department of Public Health and EnvironmentDenverUSA
  2. 2.Independent ScholarWashington, D.C.USA

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