Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 301–321 | Cite as

Marijuana Use and Well-Being in University Students

  • Jadie Allen
  • Mark D. HolderEmail author
Research Paper


Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance world-wide. Marijuana use is especially prevalent among college and university students and has been associated with both positive and negative well-being. The present study investigated the relationships between the frequency of marijuana use, negative consequences resulting from drug use, well-being, and personality. Undergraduates (N = 570) completed online measures of marijuana use, negative consequences (using a modified form of the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index), well-being (happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and positive and negative affect), and personality (using the NEO-PI-R). Rates of marijuana use were higher than those reported in many previous studies. Males reported using marijuana more frequently and using greater amounts than females. Frequency of marijuana use was not associated with well-being. However, negative consequences resulting from drug use were positively correlated with negative well-being, and negatively correlated with positive well-being. People low in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness were more likely to use marijuana and experience negative consequences. After controlling for personality, negative consequences did not explain any further variance in positive well-being, but explained a small amount of variance in negative well-being. After marijuana, the most commonly used drugs were hallucinogens, cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA, ketamine, Oxycontin, and prescription stimulants. The relationships between these drugs and well-being varied per individual drug. However, stimulants were consistently related to both well-being and negative consequences. Overall, marijuana use was the greatest contributor to negative consequences.


Well-being Happiness Life satisfaction Personality Marijuana Depression Drug Consequences 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada

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