Does cannabis use increase anxiety disorders? A literature review

Nadav Shalit, Shaul Lev-Ran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewCannabis is widely used worldwide and cannabis use disorders are highly comorbid with anxiety disorders. In this review, we consider the recent literature on the effects of cannabis on the incidence, course, and treatment outcomes of anxiety disorders.Recent findingsAlthough cannabis use is mostly found to be associated with increased incidence of anxiety disorders, these findings are generally not sustained in adjusted analyses controlling for multiple confounders. There are some equivocal data suggesting higher risk for anxiety disorders among heavy cannabis users. The scarce data indicates no clear effect of cannabis use on the course and treatment outcomes of anxiety disorders.SummaryFurther research is needed focusing on trajectories of cannabis-induced acute anxiety, effects of cannabis use on treatment outcomes in anxiety disorders, and common genetic factors. Future epidemiological studies should utilize more precise measures of cannabis use and address several confounding factors which may affect the association between cannabis use and anxiety disorders. .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • anxiety
  • cannabis
  • comorbidity
  • epidemiology
  • incidence


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