Sci Rep. 2022 May 3;12(1):7163. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11092-0.
Cannabis use characteristics, such as earlier initiation and frequent use, have been associated with an increased risk for developing psychotic experiences and psychotic disorders. However, little is known how these characteristics relate to specific aspects of sub-clinical psychopathology in the general population. Here, we explore the relationships between cannabis use characteristics and psychopathology in a large general population sample (N = 2,544, mean age 29.2 years, 47% women) by employing a network approach. This allows for the identification of unique associations between two cannabis use characteristics (lifetime cumulative frequency of cannabis use, age of cannabis use initiation), and specific psychotic experiences and affective symptoms, while controlling for early risk factors (childhood trauma, urban upbringing). We found particularly pronounced unique positive associations between frequency of cannabis use and specific delusional experiences (persecutory delusions and thought broadcasting). Age of cannabis use initiation was negatively related to visual hallucinatory experiences and irritability, implying that these experiences become more likely the earlier use is initiated. Earlier initiation, but not lifetime frequency of cannabis use, was related to early risk factors. These findings suggest that cannabis use characteristics may contribute differentially to risk for specific psychotic experiences and affective symptoms in the general population.
Source: ncbi 2