Adolescent Cannabis Use Linked to Higher Risk of Psychotic Disorders

In a recent study published in the journal Psychological Medicine, researchers have investigated the link between psychotic disorders and youth cannabis use. The findings highlight the significant impact of cannabis consumption during adolescence on mental health outcomes.

Previous research has suggested a possible association between cannabis use and psychotic disorders, but many of these studies relied on older data when cannabis products were less potent. This study aims to provide updated evidence on the relationship between cannabis use and psychotic disorders, considering recent increases in cannabis potency.

The Study

Researchers analyzed data from the 2009 to 2012 cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) linked to administrative health data in Ontario. The study included participants aged 12 to 24 years at the time of the survey. Individuals with a history of prior psychotic disorders or incomplete health records were excluded, resulting in a final sample size of 11,363.

Data on cannabis use, sociodemographic factors, and other substance use were collected through interviews. The primary outcome was the time to the first health service contact for a psychotic disorder, identified using validated diagnostic codes. Participants were followed for up to nine years.

Key Findings

  • Approximately 23.4% of respondents reported using cannabis in the past year.
  • During the follow-up period, 1.2% of respondents sought healthcare services for psychotic disorders.


The study underscores the importance of understanding the impact of cannabis use during adolescence. While the risk of psychotic disorders associated with cannabis use is relatively low, it remains a critical consideration for public health policies and interventions.

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