Why do youth use cannabis?

Everyone will have their own reason for using or trying cannabis. When it comes to youth, some of the most common reasons they give include:

  • curiosity
  • peer pressure (direct or implied)
  • boredom
  • self-medication, coping method
  • normalized behaviour
  • for fun

One of the main reasons youth and teens will use a substance is peer pressure. It’s important to know that peer pressure can be in different forms. In some cases, it may result from their peers directly telling them they “should” use cannabis, or “must” use cannabis to fit in. However, it may be indirect. Many youth have said that simply being around people who are using it, even without being verbally pressured, still led them to feel pressure to use it.

With the legalization of cannabis, the use of this substance may continue to become normalized. The more youth hear of it and possibly see other’s using it, the more normal it will seem. This can be problematic for youth who are underage, as they will turn to illegal sources of the substance.