The Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) has recently released a report that provides an overview of the latest research on how cannabis affects young people's brain and behaviour. Cannabis is the most commonly used drug among Canadian youth aged 15–24 and many young people view cannabis to be a natural and safe substance. What youth might not know is that regular cannabis use can seriously disrupt the developing brain and is related to:

  • Poor academic performance and deficits in attention and memory

  • Significantly increased risk of motor vehicle collisions

  • Experiencing psychotic symptoms and developing schizophrenia

  • Developing a cannabis use disorder

The report outlines the behavioural and mental health effects of cannabis use, whether the drug is addictive and the treatments that exist for cannabis use disorder. To make informed decisions about cannabis use, youth and their support systems need to be aware of both the neurological and behavioural effects of cannabis.

Check out the report in short or the full report to learn more about how and why cannabis affects youth’s cognition, behaviour, mental health and driving abilities.