Recreational cannabis use over time in individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis: Lack of associations with symptom, neurocognitive, functioning, and treatment patterns

Psychiatry Res. 2023 Oct:328:115420. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2023.115420. Epub 2023 Aug 15.


Recreational cannabis use has recently gained considerable interest as an environmental risk factor that triggers the onset of psychosis. To date, however, the evidence that cannabis is associated with negative outcomes in individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis is inconsistent. The present study tracked cannabis usage over a 2-year period and examined its associations with clinical and neurocognitive outcomes, along with medication rates. CHR youth who continuously used cannabis had higher neurocognition and social functioning over time, and decreased medication usage, relative to non-users. Surprisingly, clinical symptoms improved over time despite the medication decreases.

Keywords: Cannabis; Clinical high risk for psychosis; Prevention.