Cannabis cessation among youth: rates, patterns and academic outcomes in a large prospective cohort of Canadian high school students.

Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2020 Apr;40(4):95-103

Authors: Zuckermann AM, Gohari MR, de Groh M, Jiang Y, Leatherdale ST

INTRODUCTION: Following cannabis legalization in Canada, a better understanding of the prevalence of unprompted cannabis use reduction and subsequent effects on youth academic outcomes is needed to inform harm reduction and health promotion approaches.
METHODS: We analyzed a longitudinally linked sample (n = 91774) from the COMPASS prospective cohort study of Canadian high school students attending Grades 9-12 in Ontario and Alberta between 2013-2014 and 2016-2017. We investigated the prevalence of spontaneous cannabis use reduction and cessation between grade transitions (Grades 9-10, 10-11, 11-12) and the effect of cessation on academic achievement (current or recent math and English course marks) and rigour (usual homework completion and past-month truancy).
RESULTS: Only 14.8% of cannabis users decreased their use between grades. Of these, two-thirds made only incremental downward changes, a pattern which held true for all three transitions. Cessation rates from daily and weekly use decreased every year. After cessation, students had better odds than continuing users (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.03- 1.48) and worse odds than never-users (OR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.31-0.97) for some subcategories of math performance. Students who quit cannabis universally improved class attendance (OR = 2.48, 95% CI: 1.93-3.19) and homework completion (OR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.85-2.92) compared to continuing users.
CONCLUSION: Increased academic rigour may underlie any improvements seen in academic performance after cannabis cessation. High school students who use cannabis likely need targeted support to facilitate reduction or cessation and subsequent academic recovery. This indicates that a school-based focus on cannabis harm reduction is justified.

PMID: 32270667 [PubMed – in process]

Source: ncbi 2

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