Youth and adolescent studies
Transitions in cannabis use
There is a developing body of research looking at cannabis use opportunity, but little research examining timing of opportunity to use cannabis. This research uses data from a cross-sectional study of Australia twins and siblings to identify factors associated with earlier opportunity to use cannabis and faster progression to cannabis dependence. It also uses these data to determine the extent to which genetic influences on the development of cannabis abuse/dependence are correlated with those acting on the opportunity to use cannabis and frequency of use.
Cannabis use potency and the risk for psychosis
Lifetime prevalence of cannabis use in young people is estimated at 30% which is three times greater than any other illicit drug. Despite an overall reduction in the prevalence of cannabis use the demand for cannabis treatment services by adolescents aged 10-18 years has risen by 33% in the previous five years. Part of this increase has been attributed to an increase in the potency of cannabis consumed. Evidence now suggests that regular use of cannabis high in THC and low in CBD is predictive of mental health problems such as psychotic symptoms. The aim of this study is to investigate whether adolescents who do use cannabis with different ratios of THC and CBD experience elevated levels of paranoia and/or hallucinations.