Studies show that there may be increased risk associated with youth and cannabis use.
The most common risks are detailed below. (All excerpts below can be found in the report “The Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence”)
When compared to alcohol and tobacco, cannabis use has the fastest rate of transition to substance use disorder among adolescents. Youth who are regular cannabis users are more likely to use other illicit substances.
- The risk of dependence (i.e. lack of control over the use of cannabis despite the associated harms) is approximately 9% among individuals with any lifetime cannabis use and approximately 16% among those who initiated cannabis use during adolescence.
- Heavy, frequent cannabis use in adolescence may be associated with psychosis, especially when there is a family or personal history of mental health diagnoses.
- Acute cannabis intoxication has been linked to deficits in attentional focus, information processing, motor coordination and reaction time, while long-term regular use that starts in adolescence has been found to be associated with impairments in attention, memory and verbal learning.
For more information, please visit the Canadian Center for Substance use and Addiction webpage here.
For more information on the topic from Health Canada, visit the webpage here.