Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Jay Christian

Committee Member

Dr. Kathleen Winter

Committee Member

Dr. Krystal Kuhs

Committee Member

Dr. Sarah Cprek


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to implement a survey to estimate the prevalence of novel cannabinoid use among young adults in Lexington, Kentucky, and to examine modes of use and motivations for novel cannabinoid use. The primary hypothesis of this study was that many respondents would indicate medical reasons for using novel cannabinoids.

Methods: A cross-sectional primary data analysis of 101 young adults in Lexington, Kentucky to determine prevalence of lifetime novel cannabinoid use, past 30-day novel cannabinoid use, mode of use, motivation for use, and related demographic characteristics. Univariate and bivariate analysis were produced using the PROC FREQ function with chi-squared and Fisher’s Exact tests (where cell sizes were less than 5). To estimate the strength of association, crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) were completed using the PROC GENMOD function.

Results: In total, 67.7% of the sample (n=67) reported lifetime use of novel cannabinoids, 90.9% of the sample reported ever using edibles, and health-related motivations for use were prevalent (55.4%). Participants who reported lifetime use of THC were significantly more likely to report lifetime novel cannabinoid use after adjusting for income and sex (aPR: 4.56, 1.61-12.90).

Conclusion: Lifetime novel cannabinoid use is prevalent among young adults. Further controlled research with larger sample sizes is needed to examine disparities related to mode of use, efficacy of novel cannabinoids as medicine, and to determine product cannabinoid content and label accuracy of 0.3% THC.

Available for download on Monday, May 04, 2026