I'm sure you've come across a number of headlines touting studies that "prove" findings like "cannabis makes you dumber" or heavy cannabis users are "more likely to die by the age of 60." The problem with these limited studies is that people often associate a correlation with causation. A correlation between, say, heavy cannabis use during late teenage years and the death of 8.9% of those subjects by age 60 does not mean that the former directly caused the latter, it means "While we were studying X, we noticed Y occurring in a small percentage, but that by itself doesn't mean anything without more research to isolate as many variables as possible." But that narrative isn't fun for news publications and blogs hoping to attract clicks, is it?
To help out the brands hoping to churn out some sensationalized cannabis headlines, I turned to Google Trends -- which highlights trending stories and search terms -- and played around with its Correlate tool. Google Correlate takes a query and compares it to other searches with similar patterns. And what better term to compare than "cannabis"?
Here are five headlines you should expect to see over the next few weeks. The data speaks for itself -- with search trends this closely aligned, it's impossible to claim that cannabis isn't the cause for the following queries.