Cannabis use, mental health, and problematic Internet use in Quebec: A study protocol



Brodeur M, Jutras-Aswad D, Légaré AA, Morvannou A, Monson E, Cotton JC, Hakansson A, Parent V, Hudon C. (2024). Cannabis use, mental health, and problematic Internet use in Quebec: A study protocol. PLOS ONE.


Background: Problematic Internet use is characterized by excessive use of online platforms that can result in social isolation, family problems, psychological distress, and even suicide. Problematic Internet use has been associated with cannabis use disorder, however knowledge on the adult population remains limited. In Quebec, cannabis use has significatively increased since 2018, and it is associated with various risks in public safety, public health, and mental health. This study aims to identify factors associated with problematic Internet use among adult cannabis users and to better understand their experiences.

Method: This project is a mixed explanatory sequential study consisting of two phases. Phase 1 (n = 1500) will be a cross-sectional correlational study using probability sampling to examine variables that predispose individuals to problematic Internet use, characteristics associated with cannabis use, Internet use, and the mental health profile of adult cannabis users in Quebec. Descriptive analyses and regression models will be used to determine the relationship between cannabis use and Internet use. Phase 2 (n = 45) will be a descriptive qualitative study in the form of semi-structured interviews aimed at better understanding the experience and background of cannabis users with probable problematic Internet use.

Discussion: The results of this study will support the development of public policies and interventions for the targeted population, by formulating courses of action that contribute to the prevention and reduction of harms associated with cannabis use and problematic Internet use. Furthermore, an integrated knowledge mobilization plan will aid in the large-scale dissemination of information that can result useful to decision-makers, practitioners, members of the scientific community, and the general population regarding the use of cannabis and the Internet.