Dr. Kim Hellemans, is currently running a study exploring Youth Mental Health, Cannabis Use and Early Life Trauma among Undergraduate Students.

The purpose of this study is to determine biomarkers underlying the relationship between stress, early life trauma and problematic cannabis use among university students. This is especially important as there is still very little understood about what marks the difference between those who use cannabis recreationally (i.e., for fun) and those who use problematically (i.e., at risk for an addiction). Part of this includes understanding changes to certain circulating chemicals, called neurotransmitters, associated with exposure to stress, early life trauma and various patterns of cannabis use. By casting a broad net to capture the experiences of undergraduate students in any program, the results of this study will provide insight into the biological underpinnings of problematic cannabis use, and contribute to more informed use across youth. We aim to recruit participants spanning the entire spectrum of use, including those who do not use cannabis, those who use recreationally, and those who use chronically. 

Phase 1 of this study includes 60 minutes of your time to complete an in-lab survey, followed by measuring height and weight, and a blood draw. There will also be a saliva kit to take home and complete. Phase 2 of this study, 1 year later, will include 45 minutes of your time to complete an online questionnaire. Participants will be compensated with a $25 gift card of their choosing for the completion of phase 1, and a $35 gift card for the completion of phase 2. Participants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at Carleton University and be fluent in English. Participation in this study is entirely optional and participants can withdraw from the study at any time. The link to the pre-screener for determining eligibility can be found here


This study has received clearance by the Carleton University Research Ethics Board-B (Clearance #119723).