Cannabis use has negative effect on mental health

05/10/2010 15:00

The proportion of cannabis users whose state of mental health is less good is twice as high as in the group of non-users. In the period 2007/2009, more than 4 percent of 15 to 65-year-olds have smokes cannabis. More than a quarter report to do this on a daily or almost daily basis.

More than 20 percent have mental problems

People who reported to have smoked cannabis in the past 30 days in the period 2007-2009, feel less healthy mentally or psychologically than non-cannabis users. Nearly 20 percent of male cannabis users indicated they had psychological problems versus nearly 10 percent of non-users.

The same pattern emerges for women: more than 28 percent of users had psychological problems versus more than 14 percent of non-users. Frequent complaints are nervousness, depression,  unhappiness or restlessness. With respect to physical health, the differences between users and non-users are minor.

Mental health and cannabis consumption (over the past 30 days) among 15 to 64-year-olds, 2007/2009

Mental health and cannabis consumption (over the past 30 days) among 15 to 64-year-olds, 2007/2009

More than 4 percent smoke marihuana

In the period 2007/2009, over 4 percent of 15 to 65-year-olds had smoked cannabis in the past month. More men than women smoked cannabis: more than 6 percent versus nearly 2 percent. With over 15 percent, the consumption rate was particularly high in the 20 to 25-year-old population. The female consumption rate is also highest in this age group, though much lower than in men (5 percent). The lowest cannabis consumption rate is found in the age category 50–65.

Percentage of cannabis users (past 30 days) among 15 to 65-year-olds, 2007/2009

Percentage of cannabis users (past 30 days) among 15 to 65-year-olds, 2007/2009

One quarter use cannabis on a daily or almost daily basis

More than 26 percent of men versus more than 20 percent of women who reported to have smoked marihuana in the 30 days prior to the interview indicated to do this on a daily or almost daily basis. Over 40 percent of female and nearly 30 percent of male users smoked cannabis less than 1 time a week.

Frequency cannabis use among 15 to 65-year-olds

Frequency cannabis use among 15 to 65-year-olds

Kim Knoops