Association of High-Potency Cannabis Use with Mental Health and Substance Use in Adolescence

Posted on July 22, 2021 View all news

Every Brain Matters Takes Action and we need your help!

Now on our site, you will find well-researched professional letters addressing the science behind the many harms of marijuana, to send to your legislators, doctors, business associates, city council, or anyone you think needs to read them. These are all peer-reviewed, free, and approved by a team of doctors and researchers.

These letters have been compiled for our EBM Advocacy team by medical and research professionals, and now are available for your use! They are part of an ongoing project to educate Congress led by EBM Advocacy members and cover a wide variety of topics:

April 2021

Dear :

I am writing to you today as I am very concerned for American families and communities regarding the widespread marketing and legalization of marijuana and the drug expansion culture.

I am contacting you with peer-reviewed science and data because we have been impacted negatively by the rampant marijuana proliferation in our communities. My goal is to provide policymakers with data and research to support your efforts in advancing legislation that promotes public health and safety for all Americans. I feel the attached articles could be helpful to you as you continue to pass informed legislation on marijuana and other drugs.

The marijuana lobby is aggressive in promoting an agenda that would increase access and availability of high potency, addictive products. Like Big Tobacco, they are not concerned with the science or societal impacts, only profits. You may have been told that marijuana is harmless and even safe. This could not be further from the truth. The science of marijuana harms is not debatable.  

It is popular belief that marijuana is medicine; however, anecdotal claims and unscientific reports are not sufficient evidence to further legalize/promote marijuana use.  All FDA-approved pharmaceuticals have undergone scientific rigors, some of which began over a century ago.  

There have been FDA-approved marijuana-related products since 1985 (dronabinol = THC, Marinol®, generic versions) and 2018 (cannabidiol = CBD, Epidiolex®).  These products have undergone the scientific rigors of medical research unlike the marijuana and current “retail CBD” products — which are not regulated by the FDA — that are sold in many states to an uninformed public.

The goal of this email, and future emails, is to provide you with peer-reviewed scientific evidence about the many hazards of marijuana. To date, there exist over 36,200 articles on marijuana research on the National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine ( 

Attached please find in this month’s peer-reviewed scientific article: Hines LA, Freeman TP, Gage SH, et al. Association of High-Potency Cannabis Use With Mental Health and Substance Use in Adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry. 2020;77(10):1044–1051. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.1035

Here are three important facts from these articles for your consideration.       

After adjustment for age at onset of cannabis use or for early adolescent measures of psychopathologic conditions and frequency of cannabis use, as compared to lower-potency cannabis users high-potency cannabis in 141 participants was associated with:

  1. increase by 4-fold the likelihood of frequent cannabis use, 
  2. a 10-fold increase in cannabis use problems (i.e. memory problems, smoking before midday, smoking alone, unsuccessful attempts to quit, etc.), and
  3. a nearly 2-fold increase in experiencing generalized anxiety disorder.

Thank you for reading my letter and the accompanying peer-reviewed scientific articles. If you can help us find any peer-reviewed, scientific articles that show that high potency cannabis improves adolescent health – please send them to me.  Simply reply to this email.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this very serious issue.

To view and send more letters, please click this link.

One response to “Association of High-Potency Cannabis Use with Mental Health and Substance Use in Adolescence”

  1. I dont want medical marijuana to be legal anywhere but now more than ever, especially in my city (Pittsburgh, PA)

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