What every adolescent needs to know: cannabis can cause psychosis

J Psychosom Res. 2010 Dec;69(6):533-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2010.04.002. Epub 2010 May 20.


Objective: Cannabis is a widely used substance that may be becoming more socially accepted, legally tolerated, and utilized by younger individuals. This review explores the relationship between cannabis and the onset of psychosis as well as the policy ramifications of current research.

Method: This article synthesizes published work that was considered by the author to be relevant to the discussion of cannabis and the onset of psychosis.

Results: The evidence suggests that, along with other harms, cannabis is a significant risk factor in the etiology of psychosis. Adolescents are more vulnerable to using cannabis, and because of their stage of mental development, the cognitive effects are more pronounced. The mechanism for this change is thought to be neuro-chemical with a stronger effect in those with a diathesis for psychosis.

Conclusion: The risk that cannabis poses to adolescent health should not be neglected. Policy measures should use a multifaceted and strategic perspective in order to prevent adolescents from using this drug.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Cannabis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Abuse / complications*
  • Marijuana Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / etiology*
  • Risk Factors