The survey involving 959 ninth-graders showed that students who listen to music with the most references to marijuana are almost twice as likely to have used the drug than their peers.
"Interestingly, we also found that exposure to marijuana in music was not associated with other high-risk behaviours, such as excessive alcohol consumption," said Dr Brian Primack, lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Pitt's School of Medicine.
"This suggests that there is a real link between the marijuana lyrics and marijuana use," Primack added.
Researchers estimated that the average study participant listened to 21.8 hours of music per week and were exposed to an estimated 40 marijuana references in music per day.
Twelve percent identified themselves as current marijuana users, with 32 percent identifying themselves as having previously tried the substance.
Compared to those who cited a favourite artist with zero songs with cannabis references, students who identified a favorite artist with three or more songs with cannabis references had nearly double the odds of being current cannabis users.
"Although it may be that heavy exposure to music about marijuana causes marijuana smoking, it may also be that those who smoke marijuana seek out music with lyrics related to marijuana," Primack added.
The study appears in the journal Addiction.