Smoking Marijuana Daily Increases Your Risk of Psychosis, New Study Says

Wayne CurryMar 24, 2019

"They estimated that people who smoked marijuana daily were three times more likely to be diagnosed with psychosis compared with people who never used the drug, and the risk increased to almost five times more likely among those who used high-potency marijuana daily".

Data were included for 901 patients with first-episode psychosis across 11 sites and 1,237 population controls from the same sites.

For daily use of high-potency cannabis, this increased to five times.

Di Forti and colleagues estimated that in Amsterdam, about half of new psychosis cases were associated with smoking high-potency pot.

If high potency cannabis were no longer available, the incidence of psychosis in Amsterdam would be expected to drop from 37.9 to 18.8 per 100,000 people per year; and in London from 45.7 to 31.9 per 100,000 people per year.

"As the legal status of cannabis changes in many countries and states, and as we consider the medicinal properties of some types of cannabis, it is of vital public health importance to consider the potential adverse effects that are associated with daily cannabis use, especially high potency varieties", Di Forti said.

"If you are going to legalise cannabis, unless you want to pay for more a lot more psychiatric beds and a lot more psychiatrists, then you need to devise a system where you would legalise in a way that wouldn't increase the consumption and increase the potency", study author Sir Robin Murray told The Guardian.

The scientists found that daily marijuana use increased the likelihood of a psychotic disorder, and this was five times more so in those who consumed high-potency weed variants.

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Those who started using cannabis at 15 or younger had a slightly more elevated risk than those who started using in later years.

The new research adds to prior studies that have found links between marijuana and psychotic disorders, but it still does not definitively pinpoint marijuana as the cause.

The easy availability of high-THC weed is a recent phenomenon, she notes.

The findings are consistent with previous experiments that suggest heavy use and high t-h-c concentration cannabis can be harmful to mental health.

"Daily use of high-potency cannabis and how this varies across Europe explains some of the striking variations we have measured in the incidence of psychotic disorder", said Di Forti. It is perfectly possible that the association between cannabis and psychosis is bidirectional.

The study covered the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, and Brazil.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council, the European Community's Seventh Framework Program grant, Sao Paolo Research Foundation, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London and the NIHR BRC at University College London, and the Wellcome Trust.

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