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The temporal dynamics of relationships between cannabis, psychosis and depression among young adults with psychotic disorders: findings from a 10-month prospective study

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 February 2007

Background. The aim was to examine the temporal relationships over 10 months between cannabis use and symptoms of psychosis and depression in people with schizophrenia and related disorders. The design was a prospective study of 101 patients with schizophrenia and related disorders who were assessed monthly over 10 months on medication compliance, cannabis and other drug use, symptoms of depression and symptoms of psychosis.

Method. Linear regression methods to assess relationships between cannabis use and symptoms of psychosis and depression while adjusting for serial dependence, medication compliance and other demographic and clinical variables.

Results. Cannabis use predicted a small but statistically significant increase in symptoms of psychosis, but not depression, after controlling for other differences between cannabis users and non-users. Symptoms of depression and psychosis did not predict cannabis use.

Conclusion. Continued cannabis use by persons with schizophrenia predicts a small increase in psychotic symptom severity but not vice versa.

Corresponding author
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. (Email:
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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