The association between early cannabis use and psychotic-like experiences in a community adolescent sample

Leanne Hides, Dan I. Lubman, Joe A Buckby, Hok Pan Yuen, Elizabeth Mary Cosgrave, Kathryn Baker, Alison R Yung

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Cannabis use has been associated with greater risk of developing psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) and psychosis. This paper aims to determine if different levels of cannabis (lifetime, regular, recent) exposure are associated with PLEs and specific PLE subscales among adolescents. Participants consisted of a community sample of 880 adolescents in Melbourne, Australia. Adolescents were administered the positive symptom scale of the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) and measures of substance use and depression. Lifetime cannabis use and the frequency of cannabis use in the last year (recent use) were associated with PLEs, primarily the experience of auditory and visual hallucinations (perceptual abnormalities). Low levels of recent cannabis use were more strongly associated with PLEs than more frequent use. These findings indicate that different levels of cannabis exposure were differentially associated with PLEs and highlight the need for early detection and treatment strategies for PLEs and cannabis use in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-135
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Cannabis
  • Psychosis
  • Psychotic-like experiences
  • Substance use

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