Scientific article
Published by / Citation
Belete, H., Mekonen, T., Espinosa, D. C., Ambaw, F., Connor, J., Chan, G., ... & Leung, J. (2023). Cannabis use in Sub‐Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Addiction.
Sub-Saharan Africa

Cannabis Use in Sub-Saharan Africa


Background and Aims

The most available data on the prevalence of cannabis use come from population surveys conducted in high-income countries in North America, Oceania and Europe. Less is known about the prevalence of cannabis use in Africa. This systematic review aimed to summarize general population-level cannabis use in sub-Saharan Africa since 2010.


The study included 53 studies and included 13 239 participants.

  • Among adolescents, the life-time, 12-month and 6-month prevalence of cannabis use were 7.9%, 5.2% and 4.5% respectively.
  • The corresponding life-time, 12-month and 6-month prevalence of cannabis use among adults were 12.6%, 2.2% and 4.7% respectively.
  • The male-to-female life-time cannabis use relative risk was 1.90 among adolescents and 1.67 among adults.


Life-time cannabis use prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa appears to be approximately 12% for adults and just under 8% for adolescents.

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