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University study: Psychosis risks from cannabis use are rather low

University study: Psychosis risks from cannabis use are rather low


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Does marijuana use automatically lead to psychosis?
So far, many doctors have believed that smoking cannabis has led to the increased development of psychoses. However, researchers have now found that cannabis use is far less likely to develop psychosis than previously thought.

York University researchers found that smoking cannabis did not significantly increase the likelihood of developing psychosis in most people. The doctors published the results of the study in the journal "Addiction".

Combined use of cannabis with tobacco is a big problem
If people smoke high amounts of cannabis regularly, the risk of psychosis can still be increased, according to the researchers. With occasional low consumption, however, it is rare that such symptoms occur. The greatest danger in cannabis is the combined use of the drug with tobacco, explains author Ian Hamilton.

Psychoses from cannabis use are extremely rare
The link between cannabis and psychoses has been explored by researchers before when the drug became popular in the 1960s. British research to date has found that 23,000 people have to quit cannabis to prevent psychosis, according to expert Ian Hamilton of the Daily Mail.

In the past, the strength of cannabis was much lower
However, more research is needed to find out more about the effects of highly effective cannabis, the researchers emphasize. The studies clearly showed that the stronger the cannabis, the more likely psychological problems were to develop, the experts say. Most of the high-profile studies that have been carried out so far are from a time when the strength of cannabis was still much lower.

How do cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol affect consumers?
Highly effective cannabis, according to the researchers, contains less cannabidiol (CBD), which is believed to protect against negative side effects such as psychosis. While a higher level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other component of the drug, can cause symptoms, the scientists explain.

Studies analyze the strength of cannabis
Marijuana has grown a lot stronger in the past 20 years, experts say. An older study analyzed almost 39,000 samples of cannabis that were seized between 1995 and 2014. During that time, the component that causes the psychedelic effects of marijuana has increased consistently, doctors add. The THC levels in the confiscated cannabis rose from four percent in 1995 to twelve percent in 2014. This increase in potency poses a higher risk of cannabis use, especially among adolescents, the researchers say. The current study also clearly showed for the first time that the symptoms worsen in patients with schizophrenia due to the use of cannabis.

What is psychosis?
Psychosis is defined as a form of mental illness in which people experience delusions, hallucinations or both at the same time. People with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder sometimes suffer from their illnesses to such an extent that they end up committing suicide or seriously harming other people because voices in their heads told them to do so, the experts told Daily Mail.

The sale of cannabis needs to be regulated
General cannabis regulation would help reduce all health risks from consumption, according to Ian Hamilton. A regulated cannabis market would introduce quality control and so users would also get information about the strength of cannabis, the expert emphasizes. Super-strong strains of cannabis are responsible for up to a quarter of new cases of psychotic mental illness, the scientists warn. A strong form of the drug, known as Skunk, is so potent that users experience a psychotic episode three times more often than abstinent people without consumption, the researchers add. (as)

Author and source information


Video: Strong marijuana use increases risk of psychosis, study finds (June 2022).


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