The online tool Google Trends may be able to help track the public’s use of marijuana, a new study suggests. The researchers say the tool can also be used to gauge growing interest in other drugs.
The study found a significant correlation between state Google Trends marijuana search volume and current marijuana use among youth and adults in those states.
The researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis compared search terms about marijuana in Google Trends in 2011. The tool, based on Google Search, shows how often a particular search term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.