Cannabis and mental health: Prevalence of use and modes of cannabis administration by mental health status

Jennifer Rup, Tom P. Freeman, Chris Perlman, David Hammond

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14 Citations (SciVal)
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Background: Cannabis can have an adverse impact on some mental health conditions, while many consumers report using cannabis to manage or improve mental health. Little data exists on how patterns of cannabis use differ by mental health status. The current study examined the prevalence of cannabis use and modes of cannabis administration among consumers who experienced a mental health condition in the past 12-months. Methods: Data came from the International Cannabis Policy Study (Wave 1). Online surveys were conducted from Aug – Oct 2018 with 25,747 respondents aged 16–65, recruited from commercial panels in Canada and the US. Multinomial and binary regression models examined differences in cannabis prevalence and use of nine cannabis product types among those with and without self-reported past 12-month experience of anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and psychosis. Results: Respondents with each of the five mental health conditions reported more frequent cannabis use than those without a mental health condition (p <.01). Past 12-month cannabis consumers who experienced mental health conditions were significantly more likely to use the most potent products (solid concentrates, THC vape oils, hash) (p <.05), with fewer differences for dried flower, edibles, and other forms. Patterns of use were similar across specific mental health conditions, with some differences among respondents reporting psychosis and bipolar disorder. Conclusion: Individuals experiencing mental health conditions report more frequent cannabis use and use of more potent product types. These findings highlight the need to target use of specific high potency products in prevention, treatment, and harm reduction among these populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106991
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Early online date19 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2021


  • Cannabis
  • Cannabis products
  • Marijuana
  • Mental health
  • Potency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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