Smoking up as a teenager may increase one’s attraction towards other illicit drugs.
A research finds that regular and occasional cannabis use as a teen is linked to a heightened risk of other illicit drug taking in early adulthood.
And this pattern is also associated with harmful drinking and smoking, the findings show.
Different forms of substance misuse tend to cluster in adolescents and young people, and it has been argued that cannabis acts as a gateway to other drug use, say researchers, but they add that evidence to support this is still very inconsistent.
In a bid to shed more light on the issue, researchers used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to look at patterns of cannabis use during adolescence and whether these might predict other problematic substance misuse in early adulthood, by the age of 21.
Information on cannabis use was available for 5315 teens