Canadian Study Links Cannabis and Psychosis in Youth

Kermit Cole
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The Cannabis and Psychosis Awareness Project, a four-year study from Canada that was released on Tuesday, finds that smoking marijuana – particularly heavy use in early adolescence – is associated with a 40% increased risk of psychosis.  Youth with a family member identified as having a mental illness are 4x more likely to develop psychosis if they use marijuana, the study says. 50 young Canadians who participated in the study created the video Awareness Strategy for Youth.

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Schizophrenia Society of Canada // Cannabis & Psychosis from Giant Ant on Vimeo.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

41 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly, the blogger ” warmac” is a classic example of the boomer age opinion that echoes the societal perception that marijuana remains the ” benign” herb drug used in the ’60s and ’70s. If only this was true, it is not. Cross breeding and genetic manipulation of the cannabis plant now yields ” high octane” levels of the THC component- the psychoactive or mood-altering chemical which can and is causing devastating effects on particularly susceptible youth, whose brains < 25 yrs old are in the " neural pruning" phases of brain development. I only wish this 4 yr national study in Canada had been available to me, in 2009, when my then always heathy, beautiful 6'5" charismatic, friend to all, 23 yr old son, two months after getting married to his long- time girlfriend had a psychotic break necessitating a 10 dy locked psych admission. As my husband and I rode around in the wee hrs of the morn with our son because the police had taken him to the first psych unit, which declined to admit him, and released him to his parents care since his newlywed wife had called 911 out of fear as my son's behavior was suddenly bizarre and frightening. Indeed, we could not fathom what happened to the young man we so loved and had watched blossom into such a handsome, intelligent, loving, young adult with many successes already. (Honestly, our son had been recently hit by a sea of stressors but seemed to be weathering the storm well so we naively believed.) Our son, in his state of complete madness, out of nowhere, though not saying he was a danger to self or others, reason why the police had nothing to press charges for and the psych unit wouldn't take him. But trust me, my son's thoughts were from outer space. Desperate to seek proper treatment for our boy, we traveled to another psych hospital while our son, in the throes of a breakdown, shared that he'd been smoking " harmless" ( his words) marijuana, quite an admission since he was brought up by his parents to shun ALL drugs. It was the beginning of hell for my son, and his family. My son, just like millions of others had used marijuana ( to escape the stress of life, including a traumatic boating injury to his leg putting him on disability for a yr) believing the false perception, it was just a benign herb.

    I understand and am so grateful to the Canadians for embarking on a national campaign to wake up society to the effects of today's cannabis on certain young minds! Did any MI "expert" in both '09 and '11 believe cannabis which my son tested+ on his tox report had altered my son's brain- nope! The "experts" denied the hundreds of clinical studies about the cannabis-psychosis link because they preferred to spin MI and the junk psychotropic meds which just compounded my son's mental state and recovery. Sadly, trusting in (what I've since educated myself ) the tainted MH " death" system was the worst place to have taken my son as it was rush to judge, label, massively drug, warehouse with no compassionate support what led to a psychotic state. And his use of a psychoactive drug, yes- today's cannabis, absolutely IMO triggered my son's break. The MH " experts" dismissed cannabis fueled his break, in fact the out-pt doc supported " a little cannabis won't hurt anyone" to a young man who took 10 wks, despite the antipsychotic and mood-altering crap my son was prescribed ( that only altered his metabolism with massive wt gain and dulled his thinking), to emerge back to " normal". My son's life, until he got mixed up with cannabis, was the example of the rare person who lit up every room he entered. For the guy who loved life more than anyone I know, what could have led to his suicide? After his death 2 yrs later, including another psych break ( he returned to cannabis) and all that befell this young man that once had the world as his oyster, it's hard to wrap my head around it. But here is yet another national study, this time from Canada, about the alarming rate of psychosis from cannabis use happening in their country- up to 40% !!!!! How can any intelligent soul actually review the data accumulated and deny these facts? Just read any research study by Jim van Os, from the Netherlands, who is one of the best known researchers in schizophrenia. Or link to the cannabis-psychosis.ca interactive website and review the clinical findings.

    Since society seems to be increasing its insatiable desire to get high, at least let's start educating our youth that marijuana use is a game of Russian Roulette. Our family lines have NO hx of severe MI, noted as a high risk concern in this study. And no, my son, didn't begin his " recreational use" ( per the psych hosp evals) until after h,s. as his then appearing thoroughbred girlfriend, whom he married, loved the " natural" high from cannabis ( I later was told while my son was in a locked unit). How sad what my son's partner perceived as a good high, ended up leading my son into psychosis. Despite his brain recovering back to " normal" each time, exactly 10 wks later following his two breakdowns my son tragically ended his life, at age 25. Nothing could prepare my husband and myself for the horror of finding our son that tragic day, Jan 13, 2012, coincidentally on Friday, the 13th. The end of a nightmare for my poor boy which started because he had NO awareness that cannabis would take his beautiful brain and catastrophically alter it. At least the Schizophrenic Society of Canada is trying to spread awareness and spare others the hell my son endured from his belief marijuana was just " harmless".

    Until society accepts, today's genetically altered marijuana has the ability in certain young brains to create depression, anxiety, and like with my son, psychosis – there will be more lost souls taken out, and the families along with them.

  2. Larmac, haven’t has the time to do the research on this one but it is a known fact that much of the marijuana being grown these days is much higher in THC content. For some folks, this does not create a “mellow buzz” but can induce states of altered perception, disassociation, paranoia and psychosis. I saw a recent National Geographic episode and perhaps you can locate it where a young person was tested while smoking different strains of marijuana. With one strain she reported feelings of calm, sleepiness, etc. With another strain she reported having telepathic conversations with unseen people. So really we need to be much more aware of the wide variety of experience and potential pitfalls of high potency marijuana.

    In my work Ina a hospital setting, I have not seen a lot of marijuana related psychosis, but I have seen many cases of folks who have smoked synthetic marijuana such as “Spice” or “K2”. These synthetics really seem to trigger psychosis on a much greater scale. To me these synthetics are truly a scourge.

    • You nailed it here in the fact that marijuana is being laced with synthetic/amphetamine like substances and that’s why I agree that marijuana use today can be hazardous. By attaching the fear of psychosis to marijuana use we increase the odds that it will never be legalized. Illegal product has little quality control. Not to mention the arrest and incarceration rates that have ruined many many more lives.

  3. Jonathan- when time allows pls do peruse the incredible interactive Canadian website listed above: see http://cannabisandpsychosis.ca/resources/video-clips/

    Follow the links to “The Downside of High” filmed in Vancouver and brilliantly narrated by David Suzuki, a well known and respected geneticist. This 45 min documentary explains the cannabis-psychosis link, including interviews with several leading, global researchers. This film aired Jan, 2010, but sadly not until my son’s beyond tragic suicide ( Jan ’12) did I view it. Mostly, because my son was quickly labeled ” bipolar for life, MI for life, meds for life” during his breakdown, 10-09, and the trailer for this film only showed the 2 main young adult males who were given the schizophrenia dx. Though my son’s symptoms never seemed IMO to be bipolar ( despite bipolar 1 includes psychotic features) ) he didn’t show any depression, rather his thinking was so bizarre, disorganized, and delusional from the rapid onset of his madness thru the 10 wks it took his brain to renormalize ( despite an antipsychotic and mood-stabilizer drugs started during the 10 dys inside a locked unit).

    Simply can’t say enough about my Northern neighbors in Canada, and their far reaching efforts to try to reach out to today’s youth. So profoundly sad, not in time to save my son, but hopefully the next son or daughter. Until a blood test or genotyping is available to isolate which young brain is vulnerable to cannabis, we all must ( including the young population, parents, teachers, coaches) and especially those in the field of MH, educate ourselves. I realize many drugs, like K-2/Spice, ‘ shrooms, LSD, peyote… also have psycho- active effects on the brain. It’s why IMO all the psych patients who test + for ANY chemical substance should absolutely be sent to a thoroughly vetted, competent drug rehab post discharge to educate them and ideally, persuade them never to touch another mind drug again. And this generation of youth engages in ” polysubstance use” further complicating the harmful assault on their young brains.

    The comment by the psych ” experts” to my then 23 yr old son whom they just dismissed as another MI victim, ” you’re ONLY a recreational marijuana user” truly cost my son his life.

  4. I have to agree with the first remark, “Junk Science.” Like most a lot of the social sciences, they fall short on controlling external variables that might effect the outcome of the study.

    Also, they are not linking anything to psychosis. They may at best found correlation to “psychotic like” symptoms, but a link– I seriously doubt.

    Not to mention, there is emerging evidence suggesting that CBD can actually reverse or control what we come to believe as “psychosis”

    Also, we have to recognize the obvious bias. Look at the government agency that funded this study, and even worse the study was carried out by a non-profit who’s sole goal is to try and link cannabis with psychosis. Therefore, we should question whether or not, they structured the study to find the answer they were seeking.

    Lastly, it’s studies like these that bring us back to the days of the propaganda driven movie, Reefer Madness, or the days of marijuana prohibition in the 1930’s by the likes of Harry Anslinger.

  5. How about mandatory drug testing for cannabis before prescribing anti psychotics or other creativity ruining drugs ?

    Kids get in trouble for smoking pot so I’m sure many are not telling doctors about there use of it.

    Also many people stuck on anti psychotics turn to cannabis to try to overcome the effect of loss of creativity.

    • Jonathan Keyes,

      Again, I find myself amazed by the ease with which you allow yourself to offer broad declarations, to describe whatever is supposedly true, of all psychiatric “hospitals”; and, I can’t help but wonder do you genuinely mean to say what you’re saying here?

      I.e., Copy_cat suggests that “mandatory drug testing for cannabis before prescribing anti psychotics” should be standard operating procedure, and your response is to state that, “…in a hospital setting all the patients are tested for drugs including marijuana.”

      Sir, your observation of what happens in your psychiatric “hospital” setting is your observation; it is something I will not question, because I care to take you at your word; I think you are a genuinely well-meaning professional, earnest in your desire to share what you know.

      But, what you know is what you’re observing, in terms of the protocols that are practiced in your “hospital” setting.

      So, again, I implore you to, please, realize: The protocols followed by your “hospital” are not at all necessarily standard; they simply reflect what happens in the setting where you work.

      Other psychiatric “hospital” settings may work quite differently from yours.

      For instance, I was first forcibly administered so-called “anti-psychotic” drugs in a “hospital” E.R. that never took any sort of blood test from me (no physical tests were administered there) — and was, immediately thereafter, coerced into taking so-called “anti-psychotic” pills in a second “hospital” (i.e., in the psychiatric ward, in a different “hospital” facility) where, likewise, no one ever took any blood test from me.

      Your observations of what happens in the psychiatric “hospital” where you work are not lending you a universal understanding of what happens in all psychiatric “hospitals”; and, I assure you, it’s simply wrong to suggest that all “hospitals” routinely do testing for ‘recreational’ drugs prior to administering so-called “anti-psychotic” drugs.

      I’m willing to presume that happens in some psychiatric “hospitals,” but that is not happening in all such settings; it is not a universal protocol.

      Finally, please know, I really hold nothing against you, except the fact that you support forced drugging.

      Meanwhile, my indulging these urges to question your ‘fact’ base only comes from my reading your op-ed and your comments and my sensing a sort of ‘professional myopia,’ that I’d love to nip in bud (at least, in some small way); I’d love to have an effect on you, which would lead you to think before you offer broad/categorical statements about what is supposedly true of life in psychiatric “hospitals,” generally speaking.

      After all, what you’re expressing, by this point, in many instances, could just far too easily lend readers the notion that psychiatric “hospitals” tend to be considerably better managed, highly functional and respectable places than they actually are, in the main.

      At last, I remind you that I believe you do some good at your work; only, I ask you to, please, consider the possibility that you work in a somewhat unusual psychiatric “hospital”; it is (from your descriptions) somewhat better staffed and operated than most.

      Such is to say, I hope that maybe you can eventually concede: your psychiatric “hospital” is truly a bit different than most. It is not a purely wretched hell-hole (as are so many “hospitals” of the psychiatric kind).

      Respectfully,

      Jonah

      • P.S. — I mentioned, above, that, never were blood tests taken from me, in either of those initial psychiatric “hospital” settings, which I encountered; I really should have added, that, nor were urine samples taken. After all, the point here, is that your report of how psychiatric “hospitals” work is just not reflective of what I know of such places. I was NOT EVER physically tested, in those two first psychiatric “hospital” settings, where I was ‘treated’ with so-called “anti-psychotic” drugs. I was not into ANY sort of ‘recreational’ drug use, I said so, and no one second-guessed me about this. Period.

  6. @Jonah. Routinely for psychiatric admissions a toxicology screen is administered in all hospital settings. However, you are absolutely right and I should have made this caveat…in the case where it is impossible to get a tox screen, medications are given without receving one. But the universal standard is to get one at admission.

    My point was more that even in the case of a positive for canibinoids, doctors will prescribe antipsychotics.

    By the way, I don’t support forced drugging, except in cases of responding to severe violence.

    • Jonathan Keyes,

      Having enjoyed some time away from the Internet (and having gotten a good night’s sleep), I’m back to reading your comments — but with a tad more amusement than I was feeling, as I read them last night.

      This is not laughing out loud amusement, but I am, at the moment, feeling lighter — and even unburdened…

      For the time being, now, I’m at peace with the ongoing recollections, of my past “hospitalization” encounters, which have, yes, been, in recent days, brought to life — (one might reasonably say they were “triggered”) — by my reading your MIA op-ed and comments.

      (Such memories have been ‘triggered’ by my comparing and, inevitably, contrasting what you describe as “inpatient hospitalization,” with what I experienced, personally, as such, many years ago; those were, by far, the scariest experiences that I have ever known.)

      This feeling of being relieved and this subtle sense even of being somewhat amused, shall hopefully allow me to carry on, just a few steps further, at least, in exchanging comment-coversations with you.

      I.e., right now, I’m feeling OK with the idea of further exploring your views on psychiatric “hospital” protocols and what you believe are “routine” practices and “universal standard” operating procedures within such settings…

      So, in your latest, brief comment-reply (above), you explain…

      “Routinely for psychiatric admissions a toxicology screen is administered in all hospital settings. However, you are absolutely right and I should have made this caveat…in the case where it is impossible to get a tox screen, medications are given without receving one. But the universal standard is to get one at admission.”

      Thank you for acknowledging that you should have offered a caveat. And, surely, yes, you should have. (It’s really key that you do.)

      Your confessing the need for that caveat is much appreciated by me; for, I read this as being almost (but not quite) a confession, on your part, of your having been wrong — or, at least, as your expression, that your words may have been misleading (and, thus, do require clarification).

      [P.S. a long afterthought — Jonathan, I hope you’ll understand that I have no special interest in being ‘right’; so, as you read to this point, please get, about my stated appreciation for your caveat, that, yes, it’s what I see as your having potentially offered a confession of having been wrong; but, I don’t need to be right; I just like that you can admit to being potentially misled and or misleading. I offer you thanks for that admission, as I’m hoping for you, that you shall come to better understand how you can develop a most fully creative (and, in some instances, deeply therapeutic) rapport with psychiatric survivors, such as myself. Right now, you can’t appeal to me, as counselor, as you defend a practice that I feel nearly destroyed my life. But, you are a very idealistic person, in ways; so, am I, in ways. You wish to fully reform the psychiatric system. I wish to end its use of ‘medical’ force. So, I care to believe, that you (and/or, anyone else who is likewise in a good position to denounce the psychiatric barbarity, of forcing psychiatric ‘treatment’ on people, yet who is now defending that barbarity), you, being someone who calls that barbarity “necessary” at times, can eventually be led to realize the futility in doing so, the futility in defending a supposed ‘necessity’ of forcing psychiatric drugs and other brain-invasive ‘treatments’ on people; realizing there is no such necessity is liberating; I am praying for your liberation from such ignorance — as you may be in a position to help many people, preventing them from becoming the victims of such ignorance; but, on the other hand, if you fail to demonstrate any ability to admit being wrong, I fail to find hope in this discussion.]

      If you, indeed, eventually confess to being wrong about anything and/or to having been wrong about anything, in your arguments, concerning your “hospital” work, then you become more positively human, in my view. So, please, be conscious of how you (or anyone else, in your position of official ‘authority’) may seemingly project only airs of being supposedly endlessly ‘right’ — airs of ‘knowing’ all the ‘universal’ realities in “hospitals”; regarding the discussion at hand, I shall naturally lose any desire to discuss or even debate anything further, if you show no ability to reconsider what you say…

      So…

      OK, here, we are left with this statement, of yours, that requires scrutiny,

      “Routinely for psychiatric admissions a toxicology screen is administered in all hospital settings. However, you are absolutely right and I should have made this caveat…in the case where it is impossible to get a tox screen, medications are given without receving one. But the universal standard is to get one at admission.”

      To offer that caveat is helpful (emphatically, it is); but, as I ponder the sort of wording you offer, I am, at first, finding myself amused. Why is that?

      It’s is because, your chosen language is entirely representative of classic psychiatric double-speak.

      I don’t believe you are being deliberately misleading (not at all, really).

      I just figure that you don’t even begin (by this point) to realize how deeply absorbed you are, in the world of psychiatry; you are so very deeply absorbed in it (and, perhaps, in ways, enamored of it), as a result, the ‘truths’ that you ‘know’ of that world are described, by you, in language steeped in its prejudices; that is entirely apparent from the words you use. You are evidently somewhat (significantly) numb to much or all of the utterly inane/B.S. ‘ill’ logic that nearly all psychiatric “hospital” work generally entails; a quick study of your languaging offers a clear picture of this…

      Note: it’s not just you. Anyone’s typical, automatic mis-use of language, so evident while s/he’s being absorbed in that world, of psychiatry, can reveal quite a lot, about how far down the psychiatric rabbit hole s/he’s fallen.

      Jonathan, please, consider: When speaking of places where people are locked-up, against their wishes, one might seriously consider utilizing terms more genuinely real.

      Consider dropping “admissions” from your description of “inpatient hospitalization” — unless you aim to look like an utter hypocrite.

      Psychiatric “admissions” is a euphemism — and an extremely misleading one, at that — except if one is talking expressly and exclusively of voluntary entrance into a (exceedingly rare) psychiatry-assisted setting setting where, ultimately, no medical-coercion or forced ‘treatment’ is allowed.

      (I.e., let’s not speak of “admissions” unless one is actually free to leave, at any time, according to ones own wishes.)

      Universities have admissions processes, in all reality, for prospective students.

      Nursery schools have admissions process, for that matter.

      Google search results for “ad·mis·sion” and discover, “the process or fact of entering or being allowed to enter a place, organization, or institution.”

      Acceptance (in terms of “admission”) into some would be entirely voluntary psychiatric “inpatient” setting is quite rare (and, nearly unheard of); few “in-patient” psychiatric settings have ever had “admission” processes, in reality.

      They have “commitment” processes, typically — which are mostly involuntary…

      [I don't know if there are any wholly voluntary psychiatric facilities, which are called "hospitals"; I don't believe there are any; and, outside the rarest sorts of set-ups (e.g., as in the late Dr. Loren Mosher's (Soteria) program, there are virtually no psychiatric facilities of any kind, which eschew coercion.]

      So, as long as we’re talking about psychiatry’s “inpatient hospitalization,” let’s be real. Let’s at least keep that “admissions” word sandwiched between a pair of quotation marks if and when we feel we must use it, let’s just do that, can we?

      I hope so…

      After all, the vast majority of individuals (euphemistically called “patients”) who are officially “admitted” into psychiatric so-called “hospitals,” wind up being incarcerated there.

      Most prospective “patients” in psychiatric “hospital” intakes, even if/when they believe they are entering voluntarily, actually wind up automatically becoming non-criminal prisoners, of psychiatry, at least relatively briefly (i.e., for a matter of days).

      Now, speaking to the matter, of “toxicology screening,” at hand…

      Jonathan, when people are being made into such prisoners (called “inpatients” of psychiatry), they may not be altogether naturally amenable, at first, to subjecting themselves to what you (and other professionals in your “hospital”) call “a toxicology screen.”

      For a myriad of reason, the “hospital” workers might want to hold off, on administering such tests.

      And, note: IMHO, the so-called “anti-psychotic” drugs which Psychiatry forced upon me — that is to say, the psychiatric drugs that made me appear as though ‘psychotic’ — were far and away more toxic than any other substance that I have ever had in my body, before or since.

      Does the “toxicology screen” that you are referring to, screen for such toxics? those so-called “anti-psychotic” drugs??? (I presume the answer is no, it doesn’t.)

      What you call a “toxicology screen” is what I call (far more accurately) a screen for ‘recreational’ drugs.

      And, when one is being made prisoner, in a “hospital,” it is usually for reasons that are officially described as “an emergency”; so, performing any even halfway complete, official physical screening, of any kind, at those times, may, of course, be deemed “impossible”; that “impossibility” reflects the typical reality, on the ground, of most so-called “psychiatric emergencies.”

      All sorts of would be genuine help, becomes seemingly ‘impossible’ in psychiatric “hospitals” — because such places are designed, first and foremost, to ‘help’ put “patients” in their place, as subjects of Psychiatry. They will be made into “patients” by compulsion, and that process will typically trump all sorts of possibilities for real healing of emotional troubles. Don’t you see?

      Somewhat pressured by family and friends, I chose to voluntarily enter the E.R. (because my family and friends had finally convinced me that a very human/understanding psychiatrist would meet me there); I was quite hesitant to make that choice, as I did not believe in psychiatry; it seemed like a crock of B.S. to me.

      But, I elected to enter that E.R.; and, immediately, I was made a captive; it very quickly became apparent to me, that I was trapped.

      I attempted to walk out, before my ‘interview’ even began; but, I was not allowed to leave. I was blocked physically at the door, by a large ‘security’ guard.

      Had that not been the case, had I discovered that I was actually free to go, I could very well have been convinced to walk back in (really and truly).

      I was just testing the potential limits of my freedom, then and there.

      So, had I not been a prisoner of that place, I could easily have been convince to offer a urine sample (for your so-called “toxicology screen”); I would have believed that my doing so would be in my best interest.

      (In retrospect, I don’t believe it would have been in my best interest; but, that’s another discussion, which is based on the fact that the setting and the established protocols were, in fact, designed to trap anyone who was suspected of being ‘afflicted’ with a ‘psychosis’ and whose family insisted upon a provision of psychiatric ‘care’.)

      Finally, for now, I emphasize this: Copy_cat’s suggestion, that all “patients” should be screened for ‘recreational’ drugs prior to being prescribed so-called “anti-psychotic” drugs, is a good one, rregardless of the fact that (as you point out) positive “tox screens” do not stop psychiatrists from prescribing those drugs.

      After all, what can (and sometimes does) happen, is that, “patients” who are reportedly “psychotic” and who are also identified as being ‘recreational’ drug users, wind up having more of a chance, than others, of avoiding being tagged with the very worst sort of psychiatric labels associated with ‘psychosis’ (i.e., those psychiatric so-called “diagnoses,” which suggest that one is supposedly suffering the effects of “severe, chronic mental illness”).

      Those psychiatric labels are killers (in many instances, literally).

      To avoid tagging “patients” with those labels (and, to avoid being tagged with them) is true harm reduction; it is always for the good, to keep psychiatrists from tagging people with those labels, IMHO.

      As for your having stated, at last, that, “By the way, I don’t support forced drugging, except in cases of responding to severe violence,” I can’t respond, at length, to that now. (And, really, to some extent, I have already addressed that position of yours, in my comments under your recent op-ed.)

      Simply, knowing what I know, first hand, of the potential negative effects of forcing so-called “anti-psychotic” drugs on a person, I would never condone forcing them on anyone (I would not under any circumstances).

      I haven’t enough free time to ponder more of this now…

      But, I might respond further (maybe tomorrow).

      (I have thought that I might add one more comment beneath your op-ed.)

      Respectfully,

      Jonah

      • @Jonah- You are right. People at times do get drugged with neuroleptics without a full test of whether they took recreational drugs. No question. And you are right that I should have made that clear.

        As to the language of hospitals- i.e admissions, toxicology screening, and even worse- medication, compliance insight, etc- whoowee- that deserves its own article and thread. But I agree the language itself creates barriers to effective dialogue, especially with people who are survivors of psychiatric abuse.

        • Jonathan,

          I feel we’re making at least some little progress here, in our dialogue.

          At least, I find you far more readable, in this instance.

          After all, if one is to present ones knowledge of “inpatient hospitalization” in all earnestness, then much better to speak, in terms of neuroleptics, as you’re doing here, now.

          “Antipsychotics” is pure psychiatry-speak — designed to more easily sell this class of drugs, first to psychiatrists and then to the general public, which clamors for such ‘normalcy’ as the term seems to promise — despite the many horrible so-called “side-effects” such drugs create.

          “Antipsychotics” are now lapped up, like candy, in our modern society, by a very poorly educated populous that is, deep down, utterly terrified of ‘The Other’ and, thus, by what little it knows of ‘psychosis’ (a populous which is, thus, willing to hate ‘psychotic’ people, unless or until they are turned, seemingly, into docile pussy-cats, whose brains have been more or less fully re-organized by psychopharmacology).

          This is now the biggest selling class of drug in the U.S. (currently $15 billion here in the U.S. spent on them annually).

          To call these drugs “antipsychotics” is to play directly into the hand of Big Pharma. (You probably know that the coining and propagation of that term, “antipsychotic,” to describe these drugs, was a stroke of marketing genius, by Madison Avenue, in the service of Big Pharma.)

          “Antipsychotics” was some ad executive’s stroke of evil ‘inspiration’ — designed to please the Big Pharma execs and to be accepted by plian psychiatrist everywhere; never mind the fact that we’re talking about a class of drugs, which are frequently prescribed to ‘treat’ issues having nothing whatsoever to do with ‘psychosis’ (but, really, always much to do with social control).

          Yes, in some instances, they may quell unpleasant voices.

          But, that is not what they are prescribed for, typically.

          They are prescribed to greatly ‘tone down’ the energy levels of “patients” who are perceived as being somehow, otherwise, difficult to control.

          They are drugs which — as long as they are being dutifully taken — make one submit ones will to the prescriber.

          And, really, these drugs do little more for whatever is deemed ‘psychosis,’ than temporarily mask the underlying conflicts and issues that lead to such a diagnosis.

          “Neuroleptic” is a much better word.

          Google search results for “neu·ro·lep·tic” (the noun), and see: “a drug that depresses nerve functions; a major tranquilizer.”

          Now, moving on… besides this nagging sense, of mine, that no one has yet properly challenged your view, that it’s supposedly OK to force neuroleptics on people (you say that’s OK, “in cases of responding to severe violence”), I am still pondering about your op-ed, generally — and the comments you’ve offered on that MIA Web page.

          Maybe I should address the following issue, there?

          And, maybe I will.

          Come to think of it, yes, in order to avoid going way ‘off-topic’ here, I’ll post a comment to you there first. I’ll do that, then post this one here, with the link to that one.

          —-

          OK, when you have a moment, you can just go over there to read my next comment to you.

          https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/11/inpatient-hospitalization-inside-perspective/#comment-34315

          Respectfully,

          Jonah

  7. I believe that the use of any mind-altering drug or medication should be approached with caution, legal or not. Many of us (myself included) struggled mightily to wean ourselves off of mind-altering substances, legal or not. It’s your brain to screw up- or not- but let’s not have a double standard about it.
    YMMV, of course.

    • “I believe that the use of any mind-altering drug or medication should be approached with caution, legal or not.”

      That’s endearing.

      Have you noticed that the LEGALIZE MARIJUANA movement is at least 25 times the size of this … psychiatry thing?

      Yeah, people are NOT likely to be cautious with marijuana, regardless of it’s legal status. Realistically speaking.

      Hell, teenagers are even writing articles in their high school newspapers to push for LOWERING the legal drinking age because “they do it anyway”.

      Nice sentiments, no offense, are psychiatry’s itching to diagnose “wishful thinking”.

  8. Now I can’t quote nice science, or even commentators who have read science but I can remember some things I read and heard on the subject of so called cannabis psychosis.

    1 there seems to be some indication that there is no or low risk of developing psychosis with smoking cannabis in most people but for those who have experienced serious psychological trauma it might be. So it could be that the increased risk is from the trauma rather than the smoking pot. Or it could be a combination of the two. It might be that anxious people prone to psychosis (or hearing voices, having unusual ideas, and all the other things that get people diagnosed with schizophrenia) are trying to calm down on cannabis – or self medicating as the medical establishment call it. Sorry, but I can’t be bothered to find the source document on this one, I didn’t save it and it would take me an hour or so to find it again.

    2 modern cannabis, or skunk, as we call it in the UK, is, or so I’m told, about 5 times as strong as old style pot. So it’s manageable. Think whiskey instead of beer. Whiskey is not evil if you drink it in appropriately, ie not in beer glasses. Maybe we should think of skunk like this rather than saying it is an evil psychosis causing drug?

    3 there are two drugs in cannabis. One is speedy and slightly hallucinogenic. It is found in high doses in skunk. It also dampens your short term memory. So by the time someone has finished a sentence you can’t remember what they were saying at the beginning. I think if you are prone to paranoia, due to being traumatised earlier in life, it would be easy for some to disappear into a frightening inner world on this drug.

    The other is a downer and found in more resin. People tend to sit around, listen to music and eat a lot when they smoke cannabis with the downer in it. Much like people prescribed major tranquilisers, or as the Dr’s like to wrongly call them, anti-psychotics.

    4 a friend who was a community worker said when people go off their heads on skunk, just give them a couple of beers, let them sleep it off and then pick them up in the morning. In other words, don’t panic, it wears off as the drug does – though the person might be shaken and need some calm reassurance. It’s only personal anecdote but I found it interesting and reassuring. I personally wouldn’t recommend the beer, I’d suggest a bit of meditation, but there you go, horses for courses.

  9. Cannabis is now the most widely used addictive substance, after tobacco and alcohol (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine use: findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. PLoS Med 2008;5 (7) e141. A recent article in the respected magazine, Scientific American “How Safe Is Recreational Marijuana?” (5-31-13) concluded “as more states make recreational MJ legal, researchers fret about short and long-term health effects”. The author did not mention or address the 893 entries listed on Pub Med that link the large body of research between recreational MJ and MI. The author was slammed by the pro-cannabis folks yet did not even explore the concern I raise since I lost my son (IMO) to the negative effects on his young brain from his recreational use of MJ including 2 psychotic breaks, ages 23 and 24- 18 months apart, precipitated by using MJ. My son didn’t believe the research I showed him after his brain re-normalized, 10 wks after his initial break. I guess hearing his out-pt p-doc tout the benefits that ” a little cannabis never hurt anyone” gave my son the ok to return to a mind-altering drug. And no, my son, did not suffer any traumatic abuse as a young child. But yes, he had a ” sea of stressors” hit him at age 22 including a serious boating injury with surgery and subsequent physical therapy to rehab his knee which in his idle time definitely propelled his use of more substances, cannabis mostly.

    Something triggered my son’s mental health deterioration. I’m so grateful to see the Schizophrenia Society of Canada reaching out to the public to bring awareness there is a disturbing assoc with use of cannabis and MH changes, in some young brains who ? possibly have a genetic predispostion. Someone suggested my family must have “weak brains” if my son’s brain succumbed to some MI. Okay, I’ll accept that but I WISH my son had at least known the risks are credible before he went near MJ. Shouldn’t everyone know the truth? My family ( with NO hx of severe MI) and even my son’s two great- grandmothers functioned well into their late 80s but we all never touched any drug that triggered MI. Do I need any further proof?

    I get that people over the history of time alter ther brain chemistry to have a good time, enjoy life more, or escape from their stresses. But since my deceased son, whose family is left in sorrow, is not here to tell his story (other than the terribly sad good-bye note he wrote us) about how ” his choices” led to his suicide, I will.
    And why when people like the reporter in SA question the change in brain health, to certain young developing brains <age 25 why do the pro- cannabis crowd question our justifiable concerns? It's not like I believe in the Big Pharma, hardly. My son did what we all believed was the best medicine – weaned off the psychotropics, got healthier joining AA, and did not return to any substance yet ended his life, shocking his family and friends, who absolutely still can not fathom this exit. My son's tox report was clean per the coroner report. Yet, he chose to end his life.

    It is only because of Whitaker's book which led me to MIA that I could start to digest the horrific trauma my son suffered because we, in desperation, when his mind unraveled truly overnight, twice in 18 months, mistakenly believed turning to the MH system would help him. It did not, simply put: the MH system leveled my son. Surely, the least I can do is educate others that my son's tragic descent into some horrific brain changes was tied to cannabis, and the equally egregious harm done to him by the sick and broken MH system. These catastrophic associations IMO led to his suicide.

  10. This is not junk science. Here are four articles in the literature making similar points as to the potential harm of marijuana use.

    Marijuana and Brain Shrinkage
    http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=482744

    Australian researchers reported in the June 2008 edition of the Archives of General Psychiatry that long-term use of marijuana may cause two areas of the brain, the hippocampus and amygdala, to shrink in size.

    Marijuana and Psychosis
    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2807%2961162-3/abstract

    A July 2007 article published in the British medical journal Lancet indicated a relationship between marijuana use and psychosis. The authors reported that their analysis showed the risk of psychosis increased by 40% in people who have used marijuana even one time. An even greater risk was evident with the most frequent users, where the risk of psychosis was 50 to 200% greater than normal.

    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=102388

    The results of a 10-year follow up study of 229 individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia demonstrated that cannabis use after the onset of schizophrenia was associated with more severe psychotic symptoms over the 10-year follow-up time.
    Published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

    http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/ansinet/ijp/2010/796-807.pdf
    A study in the International Journal of Pharmacology, by T.H. Richardson concluded that there was evidence to suggest that cannabis could induce or exacerbate a number of mental health problems.

    • Thanks for putting in the effort to post these links! The ‘Internet tide’ is clearly against any opinion which would link marijuana to psychosis, so posting links to additional research is very helpful. One day, I sincerely hope that the truth about this very sad situation is more widely recognized.

  11. I found one of the papers: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21557896

    Here is a quote from it: “Findings suggested that cannabis consumption was predictive of psychosis diagnosis in a bivariate model; however, when estimated within a multivariate model that included childhood sexual abuse, the effect of cannabis use was attenuated and was not statistically significant”

    So there are live debates here. Is it the cannabis that is driving people mad, or is it the childhood and later life trauma? Or does the cannabis contribute to making the life traumas difficult to deal with?

    This paper says it is mainly the traumas, the papers above says it is mainly the cannabis. This paper challenges the above papers. They are all published in reputable sources.

    • The results of this study are a little tough to grasp and touch on something quite subtle. Other research reports also verify that sex abuse is a huge predictor of psychosis. AND, people who are more traumatized do tend to smoke more weed, and do more drugs. So, it is difficult to separate the trauma from the drugs, when both are present. If you have research indicating both marijuana and trauma cause psychosis, then it only makes sense that the combination of the two would lead to psychosis as well.

      • you are indeed right that sex abuse, plus other trauma, are put people at risk of psychosis. Studies show a heightened risk of psychosis for people who smoke marijuana. So one might guess that trauma plus cannabis produces a very high risk of psychosis.

        This however is not what the study showed. It said the study showed a higher risk for those who smoked marijuana, but that this was not statistically significant once the childhood sexual abuse was taken into account.

        So one inference, that might be worth investigating, is that it is the trauma that induces the psychosis and not the marijuana.

        My own experience was that smoking pot was quite pleasant until my step-mother left my father, my father tried to kill my step-mother, my step-mother turned to alcoholism and my half sister was killed by a car while on her way to school. After that smoking pot became rather unpleasant.

        It’s a solid piece of research, until someone proves otherwise, and a personal story.

        Uruguay just legalised marijuana for personal use. I wait to see if someone does some long term follow up studies on rates of psychosis and other health indicators.

  12. My goodness, I wish people, like my son, who have been harmed by cannabis, as well as the tainted MH system could come back to defend the life he led. Actually, my son had about the best life one could have until his first breakdown, two months after he married just shy of his 23rd b-day. Why did hundreds of people attend my son’s service and all claim” it’s impossible this happened”. Nothing in his childhood included sexual abuse. The untimely death of his grandfather who was already in his 80s around the start of my son’s teen yrs did traumatize him, and all of family. But life is not without unforeseen stresses and my boys were taught sometimes you have to navigate around obstacles. My son, and his family, have nothing to hide by telling the truth. I think knowing who this young man was propels me onward to shout out – no, there was no traumatic childhood abuses, no, he did not use cannabis before he graduated h.s., no there is no family history of any severe MI. Yet, the last 2+ yrs of my son’s life ( he died at age 25) spiraled down so quickly. Cannabis, a drug with known psychoactive effects, was the catalyst that so negatively impacted the healthy brain he was born with.

    Last yr for what should have been his 26th birthday, some of his friends posted a 15 min YouTube video of my son’s happy, joyful, productive, fulfilling though all-too-brief life. What a tribute to my son. His life from the day he was born was rich with so much love, opportunity, adventure, so many friends, and a tight-knit family that forever mourns his death. It’s time to start educating the unsuspecting youth because the truth was denied my son.

        • Hi Sean,
          Actually, I had found your videos that were on the internet while my son was dealing with the two breakdowns, 18 months apart. I so wanted to share the link with him, but the genius “experts” advised against it. Since I had never seen or dealt with anyone before having these two psych breaks, I felt I had to listen to authority. I work in health care, and any disease (except MI) I am well versed in. I was reading and searching for everything that could help me understand how/why my son, age 23, went almost overnight into this bizarre, delusional behavior. No family hx, and for this young man who truly had loved life as he did, never a second of depression growing up, the bipolar one dx didn’t fit IMO (even with psychotic features). I found your videos and ALL the clinical studies linking the obvious for some vulnerable young brains: cannabis-psychosis. But my voice of reason was SHOUT DOWN by the “experts”. Imagine his out pt p-doc even suggested to a young brain who had spent 10 wks in psychosis (despite the barrage of meds forced upon him) ” a little pot never hurt anyone”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Trust me, I have encountered too many pot loving zealots who attack me. Fine, there is nothing anyone could do to me now. I lost my firstborn son and my close knit family is devastated. From- yes- a freaking drug that has become part of the culture (as the Canadians thankfully are sharing). Wake up society- whose son or daughter is next????????

          Sorry you had to close the comments section attached to your wonderful video. It is so perfectedly illustrated, this should be shown in every Health classroom across America (and globally before we lose more young brains). If the Canadian research is correct, 40% of those young brains who are vulnerable to mind-altering psychoactive substances, this is frightening beyond. And that is why my son’s death needs to be told. How could he have known his brain was vulnerable? Until some blood test or genotyping becomes available, I tell this young generation “it’s a gamble with your mind”. And it may be too late once those brain changes occur.
          You have ALL the scientific proof, plus the people (like in the Canadian 4 yr study) you’ve interviewed and I have the death of my son that I say LOUDLY to everyone “related to the psychoactive ingredients in the cannabis he used as it led to MH changes”. Do I believe my son shouldn’t have died. Absolutely, but the tainted MH system took his hope and dreams that he could fully recover away from him. The evil association from both my son’s use of cannabis and the despicable MH industry IMO led to the tragic death of my 25 y/o son, almost 23 months ago.

  13. One of the beloved MIA authors and bloggers recently suggested I contact NAMI since he believes there have been chgs at the top as this organization is realizing the truth about the MH system. I have not contacted NAMI yet, but found the following NAMI blog, dated 2011, by the Medical Director. Seems NAMI also is linking the use of MJ, in vulnerable young brains, to psychosis:

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    Marijuana and the Risk of Schizophrenia
    by Ken Duckworth, M.D.
    NAMI Medical Director

    The ongoing link between use of marijuana in teens and the increased risk of developing schizophrenia has been further developed in a recent Dutch study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and has re-ignited that area of interest. This study has important public health implications, because our capacity to prevent psychiatric illnesses is severely limited-although a recent small Omega-3 fatty acid study in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests, in contrast, a protective impact.

    The BMJ study looked at young adults who were at risk for psychosis and found that the rate of conversion to the illness was 51 percent with marijuana users-compared with 26 percent of nonusers. This study builds upon a growing body of literature that is making this causative link. This build upon other studies-one of the most interesting to me was a study that made a case for delaying all experimentation—the study found that users before age 15 were 4.5 times more likely to develop schizophrenia than nonsmokers, and those who delayed until age 18 had a risk of 1.6. This strongly suggests that, in addition to abstinence, delaying experimentation results in reduced risk.

    Why do some people have no issues with this choice while another subset will never be the same after use? We do not know for sure, but interest has been growing on looking at generic variability. A gene variation in the metabolism of the neurochemicals dopamine may confer much of the risk. Unfortunately, there is not a test to determine if a group of teens will become symptomatic if they experiment. So all teens have an unknown but variable risk-a difficult area to impart wisdom in. It is very hard to be sure what the risk for use of marijuana is for any one teen, but use is clearly risky when you look at a population as a whole. This risk is even worse for kids with a family history of psychosis.

    As a father of three teen girls (who also has a history of bipolar disorder with psychosis in my genes), I do my best to share with my kids that, in my view, all drug experiments need to be delayed-or denied. Teens are notorious for not listening to parents and for not delaying gratification, so I can’t know what is actually getting through. I suspect it is less than I would like. Developing good decision-making skills is one of the key aspects of growing up, but there is no one way to get there. Learning by experimentation is one way, but as these studies show, the consequences can be much greater than anticipated.

    Knowing your family risk (e.g. of schizophrenia or alcoholism or diabetes) is a good perspective to share with your kids so that they know that drugs, alcohol and sugar are even more worrisome for them. What they do with that kind of information is beyond parental control. Like teaching teens to drive a car, you hope to model and impart experience, and then you wait as they learn. I encourage my kids and the people who live with mental illness whom I treat as a doctor to wear seat belts and to avoid drugs. Then like all parents, I hope for the best and do my best to coach as more data comes in on their choices. But there are no guarantees. In neurobiology–just like with driving vehicles–all we can do is work to lower the chance of complications.

    Posted by Katrina Gay at 5:40 PM
    14 comments:
    *rachel* said…
    Thank you. My son was diagnosed with sz last year. An uncle on his fathers side has it severe and I hadn’t realized the risk until my son began to Have symptoms. My son to This day has a hard time accepting his diagnosis and thinks if he hadn’t started smoking pot the year before, he wouldn’t Have sz now. Of course, one will never know, but I am paying attention to articles Like yours in my desire to KNOW everything about my sons illness. Thank you.
    March 31, 2011 at 5:48 PM
    Cole said…
    Very interesting Dr. Duckworth. I recreationally used marijuana in h.s. and college–only one ever few months if even that. Last May I had a really bad trip that led me to the psychologists office because of overwhelming paranoid and anxious thoughts. After almost one year I am finally no longer visiting but I will have to deal with the experience the rest of my life.

    Politics aside, we need to get this kind of information out in the open to the public so that individuals can make the best personal decision for themselves.
    March 31, 2011 at 5:52 PM
    Cole said…
    Very interesting Dr. Duckworth. I recreationally used marijuana in h.s. and college–only one ever few months if even that. Last May I had a really bad trip that led me to the psychologists office because of overwhelming paranoid and anxious thoughts. After almost one year I am finally no longer visiting but I will have to deal with the experience the rest of my life.

    Politics aside, we need to get this kind of information out in the open to the public so that individuals can make the best personal decision for themselves.
    March 31, 2011 at 5:55 PM
    Patjeff said…
    If marijuana use increases the risk of schizophrenia, then why hasn’t its prevalence increased since marijuana use became widespread in the late 1960s?

    And why do countries with very low rates of marijuana use (e.g. Japan) have virtually identical rates of schizophrenia as countries with very high rates of marijuana use (e.g. the USA)?
    April 1, 2011 at 2:17 AM
    Anonymous said…
    I highly suspect that Marijuana played a role in my son developing Schizophrenia. He started using Marijuana around age 13 and became a heavy user around 15. He started developing pyschotic symptoms when he was 16. Unfortunately, he committed suicide prior to being officially diagnosed with any mental health disorder, but he was showing many of the signs of Schizophrenia such as hearing voices, delusions of grandior, et.)
    April 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM
    Tupsy said…
    My ex husband has recently been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after many years of anxiety, fear, paranoia, hostility and nightmares. It is at least good to now understand why he behaved the way he did during our marriage. When he was 14 he and some mates got into smoking marijuana quite heavily for a short time. Then he joined the army at 18 and had no more interest in smoking dope or taking any other drugs (except tobacco). So the theory of the marijuana triggering schizophrenia absolutely fits in his case.
    Thank you for this
    Tupsy
    April 5, 2011 at 12:04 AM
    Tupsy said…
    Do you know of any evidence for marijuana triggering bi-polar disorder?
    April 5, 2011 at 12:05 AM
    Anonymous said…
    this is popostris they have been trying to find something wrong with marijuana since it has been introduced to the world populous.
    April 7, 2011 at 12:56 PM
    man hair loss said…
    wow, very informative… its nice to actually know what marijuana can do to users and not just say that they’re high… i can still remember when i was in college and everything seem to be just a “trial basis” being high would be a great experience especially when you’re depress, but other than that, i learned, it isn’t all that worth it really…
    April 8, 2011 at 3:16 AM
    Catherine said…
    The report abstract states: Conclusion Cannabis use is a risk factor for the development of incident psychotic symptoms. Continued cannabis use might increase the risk for psychotic disorder by impacting on the persistence of symptoms.

    This is not about schizophrenia.
    April 8, 2011 at 2:36 PM
    Anonymous said…
    I am convinced about the link between cannabis and bipolar/schizophrenia disorder. There is a case study in the Journal Psychiatry 2009 volume 6 number 12, December 1 ” Cannabis induced Bipolar disorder with psychotic features: a case report”. It is unfortunate that some young adults will develop the disorder after heavy use while others are not affected. My son is one of those who is paying the price of his use as an adolescent.
    April 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM
    Anonymous said…
    I recently did a reseach paper on this very topic. It is an interesting topic and raises some questions. Thought I feel that there truly is a link between smoking marijuana and schizophrenia we need to remember that there are other risk factors such as age, gender,gentics amoung other things. I also think that medical marijuana is fine but must ask are doctors taking a full medical history before giving to patients? Are doctors taking the schizophrenia risk factors into consideration when prescribing marijuana to patients? I think it is important to think about these things before someone uses the drug and if you have risk factors or due in fact have schizophrenia you should avoid using marijuana.
    May 1, 2011 at 12:47 PM
    HexagonGroup said…
    Omega 3 fatty acids and other Essential Fatty Acids are vital to protect against mental misfires. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is like “raking the board” to use a special effects explosives metaphor. Instead of the slow release of some rather exotic fats by the brain in the normal course of functioning, THC releases all those hard-to-replace exotic fat fractions all at once. Chaotic brain firing ensues, and the Hippocampus (memory) and Pre-Frontal Cortex (judgment) get scrambled messages. Studies have not shown Hippocampus atrophy from stress hormones/cortisol as affected by THC. But stress causes Hippocampus damage, literal brain damage. Throw pot in on top of that and otherwise healthy people, possible abuse victims as children, can get screwy. One of the best sources of the exotic EFA’s stripped out by THC is…hemp oil. Yep. The very thing that compromises the brain when ingested can bolster brain function. One may also note the role of digestion. Those with low stomach acid, a tendency in Native American and Irish populations, or those having poor digestion, may not be able to pull out the Essential Fatty Acids from their food! So many mental aberrations can be caused by poor digestion, hence the title of my piece, “You’re Nuts Because of Your Guts.” Over 70% of mid-brain chemicals are made in the gut, and this may be the X factor in the pot psychosis mystery. Our modern diet is full of trash fats, and it is like giving a starving dog a rubber bone. Eat raw oils and a good well-marbled organic ribeye steak now and again. Enjoy a poached organic egg yolk, full of lecithin/choline, or take soy lecithin if you tolerate soy well. Take purified Omega 3 fish oils that have had the mercury removed or eat organic walnuts, chewing well. Supplement with lipase to digest fats and oils. Feed your fat head–the brain is made up of lipo-protein, fat-linked proteins. GBU! PS Modern pot is now a hybrid of Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica, formerly called ditch weed. Ditch weed causes headaches and sinus infections when smoked, and gives that skunk smell. Users report less intense orgasm, btw, probably a result of the phyto-estrogen content. Oy.
    January 2, 2012 at 11:07 AM
    Rusty Covey said…
    I have to disagree with this finding, they would have gotten worse with time.
    I have lived with this condition since the age of 10, I couldn’t stop the images from appearing.
    I started smoking marijuana at age thirteen and also learning how to read and write. My schizophrenia went away completely.
    A guy named WG with severe paranoia-schizophrenia, when he smoked marijuana he was able to relax and get into the moment.
    Another named CR, didn’t experience schizophrenia when he was high. But, when he used crank it would bring out this condition.
    Thus, were these test subjects free of stress. Stress seems to be a precursor to developing an episode of schizophrenia.
    Marijuana should be reducing stress, so, makes me wonder how the test subject were before the testing, how long did they actually allow the test to be done with the same subject and was there any type of therapy.
    By the way I teach The Nine Essential Qualities of Mindfulness along with The Five Sense Therapy.
    January 29, 2013 at 7:32 PM
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  14. Whoops! Larmac, I did say that, but only because you are a family member of someone who was abused by psychiatry. It is true that there are changes happening within NAMI, but if you join, I hope you are cautious. The drug companies don’t give National NAMI all that money for nothing.

    Still, though, I think you might meet some like-minded people there, and help move the organization in the right direction. An enlightened NAMI, free from the drug companies, could be a great force for good.

  15. I would LOVE to see a study (much as I can’t stand studies) of RIGHT dosage in marijuana use.

    From what I know, people *overuse* (abuse). I learned for myself, by experience, that there is a right dose and an overdose. Used appropriately, marijuana is beneficial (for Me). Of course, like everything else, marijuana ISN’T universal (it is not for everyone).

    Marijuana is said to be “psychoactive”. That makes me MAD! Psyche is NOT a disease. The correct word is psyche-active. PLEASE stop making PSYCHE a disease. It ISN’T a disease.

    PSYCHE is NOT A DISEASE of the mind.
    PSYCHE is NOT A DISEASE of the mind.
    PSYCHE is NOT A DISEASE of the mind.

    PLEASE STOP making psyche a disease. IT ISN’T.

    What’s this PSYCHO stuff, anyway? The DARK side of PSYCHE?

    We can and do have ACTIVE PSYCHE, with or without marijuana or any other substance or chemical or genetic cause.

    PSYCHE is NOT a disease.

    You keep treating ACTIVE PSYCHE as a DISEASE. IT’S NOT, IT’S NOT, IT’S NOT!

    Psychosis? Psycho? STOP.

    It’s NOT a disease.

  16. Why is there a words “Youth” and “Adolescence” in the study? For safety. Few people know that age is not so important as a use of vaporizer for example. And so it turns out some kind of nonsense, constantly in the news reported that adults have psychosis induced by cannabis, but in scientific articles we are dealing with a small lies like this.