The Cannabis Cohorts Research Consortium (CCRC) is a collaboration which stemmed from the need to better address important questions about the relationship between cannabis, other drug use, life-course outcomes and mental health in children and young adults. The CCRC is a multi-organisational and multi-disciplinary international collaboration which brings together researchers from some of the largest and longest-running longitudinal studies in Australia and New Zealand. The CCRC aims to achieve its goals by involving partners in capacity building activities, and by providing capacity to allow collaborative work to proceed to high-level grant application stage. Recent work has focused on harmonising and pooling data across individual cohorts. This approach provides a number of potential advantages including efficiency in the use of existing data; the capacity to bring together expert knowledge from across a range of disciplinary boundaries; increased opportunity for knowledge translation and dissemination; increased generalisability of findings; and, the opportunity to answer questions which cannot be answered in individual cohorts.


Study name Cannabis Cohort Research Consortium
Study abbreviation CCRC
Current principal investigator/s Prof Richard Mattick, A/Prof John Horwood, Prof David Fergusson, Prof Jake Najman, Prof George Patton,  Prof John Toumbourou, Prof Craig Olsson, Dr Delyse Hutchinson, Dr Edmund Silins, Prof Louisa Degenhardt
Current project managers Prof Richard Mattick, Dr Delyse Hutchinson, Dr Edmund Silins
Cohort representative (study contact) Prof Richard Mattick
Postal address

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney

Sydney, NSW 2052

Phone +612 9385 0333
Primary Institution University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Collaborating Institution/s
  • Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children͛s Hospital, Parkville, Melbourne 
  • Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra 
  • Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, Deakin University, Melbourne 
  • Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand 
  • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children͛s Hospital, Melbourne 
  • National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth 
  • Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education, University Of Queensland, Brisbane 
  • School of Paediatrics, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne 
  • School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane 
  • School of Psychology, Deakin University, Melbourne 
  • School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queens University, Belfast
  • Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth 
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane 
  • University of Melbourne, Melbourne
  • University of Tasmania, Tasmania 
Major funding sources NHMRC
Study website
Key reference Hutchinson, D. M., Silins, E., Mattick, R. P., Patton, G. C., Fergusson, D. M., Hayatbakhsh, R., Toumbourou, J.W., Olsson, C.O., Najman, J.M., Spry, E., Tait, R. J., Degenhardt, L., Swift, W., Butrterworth, P., L. John Horwood (2015). How can data harmonisation benefit mental health research? An example of The Cannabis Cohorts Research Consortium. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(4), 317-323. doi: 10.1177/0004867415571169
Are data available outside study team? Yes. Case by case basis.
Study focus The collaborative work between researchers uses existing data to better understand the link between cannabis, other drug use, life-course outcomes and mental health in children and young adults.
Sampling frame

A range of cohorts are involved in the CCRC including: the Australian Temperament Project (ATP), the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS), the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy (MUSP), the Personality and Total Health (PATH) Through Life Project, the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study, and 2000 Stories – Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS). To date, analyses have been conducted with:

  • The ATP which is a longitudinal study of social and emotional development that commenced in 1983 as a sample of 2443 infants (aged 4-8 months) and their parents. The ATP has been assessed on a total of 15 occasions in childhood through to young adulthood (age 28 years);
  • The CHDS which is a longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1265 children born in the Christchurch, New Zealand, urban region in 1977. The cohort has now been assessed on a total of 23 occasions from birth to age 35 years;
  • The MUSP which is a 1981 birth cohort now focused on health, developmental, behavioural and social outcomes for young adults. Assessments were conducted when the children were 6 months, 5 years, 14 years, 21 years and 28 years old;
  • The PATH study which is a 20 year longitudinal cohort study of 7,485 young (aged 20–24 at baseline), midlife (aged 40–44 at baseline) and older (aged 60–64 at baseline) adults randomly sampled from the electoral roll of the Australian Capital Territory and the nearby city of Queanbeyan; and,
  • The VAHCS which is a 1992 longitudinal study of a representative sample of 1943 mid-secondary school adolescents in Victoria, Australia. Participants were assessed at least once during the recruitment phase in Year 9 or Year 10, and on four other occasions during adolescence with a further three follow-ups in young adulthood to approximately age 30 years.
Year commenced Varied between individual studies
Commencement sample Data integrated from these cohort studies involves over 7,000 young people. To date, across various cohorts (up to n=4), we have harmonised a wide range of substance use, psychosocial and other measures (n≈35) at ages which span adolescence (≈13-17 years), young adulthood (≈18-25 years), and adulthood (≈28-30 years).
Intergenerational? Varied between individual studies
Imaging Varied between individual studies
Linkage Varied between individual studies
Biosamples? Varied between individual studies


Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  Varied between individual studies