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Schizophr Res. 2003 Jan 1;59(1):77-84.

Cannabis use and dimensions of psychosis in a nonclinical population of female subjects.

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  • 1INSERM U330, University Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France.



The aim of the present study was to explore the pattern of associations between cannabis use and dimensions of psychosis in a nonclinical population of female subjects.


The Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE), a 42-item self-report questionnaire that evolved from the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory [Schizophr. Bull. 25 (1999) 553], was used to measure dimensions of psychosis in a sample of undergraduate female students (n=571). The participants were also asked to complete a self-report questionnaire collecting information on substance use.


Three correlated dimensions of positive, negative and depressive experiences were identified using principal components factor analysis. Frequency of cannabis use was independently associated with the intensity of both positive and negative psychotic experiences. No significant association was found between cannabis use and the depressive dimension, or between alcohol use and any of the three positive, negative and depressive dimensions.


This cross-sectional study supports the hypothesis that exposure to cannabis may induce the emergence of positive psychotic symptoms in subjects without clinical psychosis, and additionally suggests that cannabis users exhibit greater levels of negative symptoms. Prospective studies are required to explore the direction of causality and the impact of cannabis on the course of psychotic experiences in subjects from the general population.

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