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Background: Some recent studies have challenged the direction of causality for the association between cannabis use and psychotic disorder, suggesting that cannabis use initiation is explained by common genetic variants associated with risk of schizophrenia. We used data from the European Union Gene-Environment Interaction consortium (EUGEI) case-control study to test for the independent and combined effect of heavy cannabis use, and of Schizophrenia Polygenic risk score (SZ PRS), on risk for psychotic disorder. Methods: Genome-wide data were obtained from 492 first episode psychosis patients (FEPp) and from 787 controls of European Ancestry, and used to generate SZ PRS from the summary results of an independent meta-analysis. Information on pattern of cannabis use was used to build a 7-level frequency-type composite cannabis use measure that we previously found was a strong predictor of psychotic disorder. Results: SZ PRS did not predict cannabis initiation (b=0.027; p=0.51) or how frequently controls (b=0.027; p=0.06) or FEPp (b=0.006; p=0.91) used it, or the type of cannabis they used (Controls: b = 0.032; p=0.31); FEPp: b= 0.005; p=0.89). The frequency-type composite cannabis use measure (OR=1.32; 95% CI 1.22-1.44) and SZ PRS (OR=2.29; 95%CI 1.71-3.05) showed independent effects from each other on the OR for psychotic disorder. Conclusion: SZ PRS does not predict an individual s propensity to try cannabis, frequency of use, or the potency of the cannabis used. Our findings provide the first evidence that SZ PRS and heavy cannabis use exert effects independent from each other on the risk for psychotic disorder.

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