Reyam Nassif

, McMaster University , Saudi Arabia
Title : Cannabis Use in Muslim Youth


Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the world. It causes impaired executive functioning, psychosis, and schizophrenia, among other impairments. It also affects reaction time, awareness, and motivation. These side effects can lead to decreased academic performance as well as social setbacks. Variance in the interpretation of whether cannabis is forbidden fuels the ongoing debate on the religious stance of cannabis use among Muslim communities across the globe. Stigma is the biggest barrier for open discussion about cannabis usage and also acts as a barrier to the implementation of harm-reductive programs in the Islamic world. There is clear evidence that due to stigma, religious beliefs, and social factors, Muslim youth are at a higher risk than their adult counterparts and that they feel unable to seek help with regard to cannabis and other drug abuse. By reviewing studies on the harmful effects of cannabis use and comparing them against notions of what is considered forbidden in the Islamic tradition and other communities, this paper explores the best ways to reduce harm from cannabis usage in the global Muslim community.


Reyam N. Nassif, MD, MSc. A medical doctor with a passion for addiction medicine and psychiatry. A current postgraduate student at McMaster University. Dr. Nassif is very interested in psychotherapy, she has competed a couple of certificates in that area. She has qualifications in Couple and Family Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Foundation of Psychoanalysis, and a life coaching certificate. Dr. Nassif trained in medicine in Saudi Arabia and completed her master's degree in child life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care at McMaster university. She is completing her training in CBT at McMaster University.