Different Tokes for Different Folks: Use of Cannabis Products Among a Longitudinal Cohort of People with Heroin Dependence

Jack Wilson, Katherine L. Mills, Matthew Sunderland, Tom P. Freeman, Maree Teesson, Paul S. Haber, Christina Marel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Co-occurring cannabis use is common among those with opioid use disorder (OUD), but the extent to which it is harmful may be due to its preparation and concentration of various cannabinoids. The current study aimed to examine the prevalence of, and long-term associations with, the use of varying cannabis products among a naturalistic longitudinal cohort of people with heroin dependence. A total of 615 people, most of whom were entering treatment, were recruited to the Australian Treatment Outcome Study (ATOS) in 2001–2002. This analysis focuses on the 401 participants followed up at 18–20 years post baseline. Structured interviews assessed the use of cannabis products, as well as demographic and health covariates. High-potency/indoor-grown cannabis was the most common type ever used (68.8%), and in the past 12 months (80.4%), followed by low potency/outdoor grown (22.4%; 14.4%), and less so for other types of cannabis. After controlling for covariates, older age at baseline was associated with lower odds of high-potency cannabis being used as the primary type in the past 12 months. In contrast to studies of non-opioid dependent populations, common use of high-potency cannabis was not associated with more severe health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Early online date15 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions This work was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant number APP1147212, and supported by an NHMRC PhD scholarship awarded to Jack Wilson, and NHMRC Fellowships to Christina Marel, Katherine L Mills, Paul Haber and Maree Teesson. The project was also supported by Matilda Centre funding.

Data Availability
Data are currently unavailable for this study.


  • Cannabis
  • Cohort
  • Heroin
  • Longitudinal
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Different Tokes for Different Folks: Use of Cannabis Products Among a Longitudinal Cohort of People with Heroin Dependence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this