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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2011 May;123(5):368-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2010.01640.x. Epub 2010 Dec 28.

Association between cannabis and psychiatric hospitalization.

Author information

  • 1Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands. c.schubart@umcutrecht.nl



To investigate the relationship between cannabis use and mental health.


A cross-sectional analysis in a sample of 17 698 individuals with a mean age of 22 years (SD: 4.2). Participants provided information on the amount and initial age of cannabis use and history of psychiatric hospitalizations through a web-based questionnaire. To quantify Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol exposure, we operationalized cannabis use as the amount of money spent on cannabis per week over the last month. The odds ratio of having a history of psychiatric hospitalizations was the primary outcome measure.


We found a dose-response relationship between the amount of cannabis use and the odds for psychiatric hospitalization. Adjusted odds ratios for hospitalization increased with the amount of cannabis consumed from 1.6 (95% CI: 1.1-2.3) in incidental users to 6.2 (95% CI: 4.3-8.9) in heavy users (>€25/week). Our data suggested that concomitant drug use was an intermediate factor. Exposure to cannabis before the age of 12 years was found to carry a 4.8 (95% CI: 2.9-7.8) times increased odds for past psychiatric hospitalizations.


We conclude that early and heavy uses of cannabis are each and independently associated with poor mental health in its users.

© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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