If you are in distress, you can text WELLNESS to 741741 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

Home › Resources › Closing the Research Gap on Cannabis and Mental Health

Closing the Research Gap on Cannabis and Mental Health

Canada is just the second country in the world to legalize cannabis for non-medical use. This decision offers researchers an unprecedented opportunity to study the impacts of cannabis use in a legalized environment— including its effects on mental health. To seize that opportunity, the federal government has allocated $10 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) over the next five years to investigate the risks and benefits of cannabis as well as the varying needs of diverse subpopulations of people living in Canada.

Key areas for additional research

Our goal over the next five years—and beyond—is to fill knowledge gaps related to cannabis and its impact on mental health. Key questions include:

What factors predict an increased risk of developing mental health problems and illnesses (including psychosis) among individuals who use cannabis?

Has legalizing non-medical cannabis affected the prevalence of mental illness?

Has legalizing non-medical cannabis affected the prevalence of cannabis use disorder? Has it affected the prevalence of other substance use disorders?

Can cannabis and cannabinoids be used to treat the symptoms of certain mental health problems and illnesses, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder?

Existing research shows that risks associated with cannabis use are affected by the age of initiation, frequency, and method of use and by the ratio and concentration of the cannabinoids (e.g., tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] versus cannabidiol [CBD]) most frequently used.

Feedback Form

Hey, there! Thanks for checking out this resource. We’d love it if you could share a little more info about yourself and how you got here (What kind of information were you looking for? Did this resource help?). Doing so will help us create better content in the future. Thanks!


  • The completion of the form is voluntary.
  • The information collected will be used solely and exclusively by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to improve the quality of our documents.
Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address


Your feedback will only be used for feedback purposes. Thank-you for participating in our feedback program.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



The provincial Mental Health and Addictions branch works in partnership with many community services, agencies, and programs to provide a client-focused continuum of care to meet the unique needs of...

There are five Regional Health Authorities (RHA) inBritish Columbia, in addition to the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). Each RHA provides mental health...

It has been two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since October 2020, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and...