Exploring the Link: Youth voice and perspectives on cannabis and psychosis.



C. Willinsky

Since cannabis was legalized in 2018, the industry has evolved rapidly. Researchers, clinicians, and mental health advocates are concerned about the mixed messages along with the competitive nature of how cannabis products are being marketed. These is also confusion about the usefulness of CBD and the risks associated with THC, especially in relation to brain development of children and youth.

With the upcoming roll out of new regulations for edibles, drinks and vaping products containing cannabis, understanding the research evidence linking cannabis with the risk of developing psychosis is increasingly important.

Canadian youth are among the highest cannabis users worldwide, and often have limited awareness of the nature of the relationship between cannabis and psychosis. With the Explore the Link project, The Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC) is working with partners across Canada to promote awareness and understanding of the link between cannabis use and psychosis, especially for those under age 25 and their family members.

Featuring the most current research-informed evidence, along with young people’s lived experience with cannabis use and psychosis, the project will develop resources designed to empower youth and emerging adults with education, prevention and harm reduction messages that reflect youth voice and experience.

The project is using a variety of non-traditional methods to reach a range of youth audiences, including arts-based and innovative social media driven campaigns. The project is informed and guided by Youth and Scientific Advisory committees. In this session, Youth Advisors will provide their take on effective ways of reaching young people who may be at risk, and will engage participants in an interactive Q & A.

Clinicians Family Members Lived Experience Managers Peer Support Workers Researchers