Aims: To assess if cannabis use is a risk factor for future psychotic symptoms, and vice versa, in adolescents and young adults from the general population. Design: Cohort study. Setting/participants: 'Zuid Holland' study, a 14-year follow-up study of 1580 initially 4-16-year-olds who were drawn randomly from the Dutch general population. Because cannabis use is generally condoned in the Netherlands, false-negative reports of cannabis use may occur less frequently than in countries with stricter drug policies, which supports the value of the present study. Measurements: Life-time cannabis use and psychotic symptoms, assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Findings: Cannabis use, in individuals who did not have psychotic symptoms before they began using cannabis, predicted future psychotic symptoms (hazard ratio = 2.81; 95% confidence interval = 1.79-4.43). However, psychotic symptoms in those who had never used cannabis before the onset of psychotic symptoms also predicted future cannabis use (hazard ratio = 1.70; 95% confidence interval = 1.13-2.57). Conclusions: The results imply either a common vulnerability with varying order of onset or a bi-directional causal relationship between cannabis use and psychosis. More research on patterns and timings of these relationships is needed to narrow down the possibilities.

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Pediatric Psychiatry

Ferdinand, R.F, Sondeijker, F.E.P.L, van der Ende, J, Selten, J.-P, Huizink, A.C, & Verhulst, F.C. (2005). Cannabis use predicts future psychotic symptoms, and vice versa. Addiction, 100(5), 612–618. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01070.x