Early exposure to cannabis and risk for psychosis in young adolescents in Trinidad
Article first published online: 29 APR 2008
Copyright © 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 Blackwell Munksgaard
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 118, Issue 3, pages 209–213, September 2008
How to Cite
Konings, M., Henquet, C., Maharajh, H. D., Hutchinson, G. and Van Os, J. (2008), Early exposure to cannabis and risk for psychosis in young adolescents in Trinidad. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 118: 209–213. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01202.x
- Issue published online: 4 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 29 APR 2008
- Accepted for publication April 4, 2008
- psychotic disorders;
- age of onset
Objective: Cannabis use increases the risk for psychosis, but psychotogenic effects of cannabis may be restricted to exposure during early adolescence.
Method: Four hundred and seventy-two participants (aged 12–23 years), randomly selected from the general population in Trinidad, completed questionnaires on past and current cannabis use and psychotic symptoms (using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences).
Results: Cannabis use increased the risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms and this effect was conditional on early exposure, defined around the mean age of onset of cannabis use. Thus, exposure before but not after the age of 14 years predicted psychotic symptoms (respectively β: 0.71, 95% CI 0.22; 1.19, P = 0.004 and β: −0.11, 95% CI −0.57; 0.36, P = 0.66). The developmental effect of cannabis use was independent of use of other drugs or current use of cannabis.
Conclusion: Early adolescence may be a critical period with regard to the psychotogenic effect of cannabis across geographical settings and ethnic groups.