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Association between cannabis potency and mental health in adolescence

Hines, Lindsey A., Cannings-John, Rebecca ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5235-6517, Hawkins, Jemma ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1998-9547, Bonell, Chris, Hickman, Matthew, Zammit, Stanley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2647-9211, Adara, Linda, Townson, Julia and White, James ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8371-8453 2024. Association between cannabis potency and mental health in adolescence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 261 , 111359. 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2024.111359

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Abstract

Introduction. In legal and illegal markets, high-potency cannabis (>10% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) is increasingly available. In adult samples higher-potency cannabis has been associated with mental health disorder but no studies have considered associations in adolescence. Methods. A population-wide study compared no, low and high potency cannabis using adolescents (aged 13–14 years) self-reported symptoms of probable depression, anxiety, and auditory hallucinations. Results. Of the 6,672 participants, high-potency cannabis was used by 2.6% (n=171) and low-potency by 0.6% (n=38). After adjustment for sociodemographic factors, tobacco and alcohol use, in comparison to participants who had never used cannabis, high-potency but not low-potency users were more likely to report symptoms of depression (odds ratio 1.59 [95% confidence interval 1.06, 2.39), anxiety (OR 1.45, 95% CI 0.96, 2.20), and auditory hallucinations (OR 1.56, 95% CI 0.98, 2.47). Conclusions. High-potency cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of probable mental health disorders. Services and programming to minimise drug harms may need to be adapted to pay more attention to cannabis potency.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0376-8716
Funders: Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, Welsh Government, Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 June 2024
Date of Acceptance: 2 June 2024
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2024 10:04
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/169573

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