More Concerns About Links Between Marijuana Use and Schizophrenia

Rob Wipond
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Schizophrenia Bulletin has published three new articles exploring issues related to marijuana use and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research has also this month published two articles.

Topics explored include how marijuana use affects the brains of people with schizophrenia, how it may cause paranoia, how to reduce marijuana use in people with schizophrenia, and whether an element within cannabis may conversely have antipsychotic properties.

Psychiatric Times has also released a commentary and video, “The Lasting Effects of Marijuana Use.”

The Lasting Effects of Marijuana Use (Psychiatric Times, March 10, 2015)

Epstein, Katherine A., and Sanjiv Kumra. “Altered Cortical Maturation in Adolescent Cannabis Users with and without Schizophrenia.” Schizophrenia Research 162, no. 1 (n.d.): 143–52. Accessed February 23, 2015. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2014.11.029. (Abstract)

Iseger, Tabitha A., and Matthijs G. Bossong. “A Systematic Review of the Antipsychotic Properties of Cannabidiol in Humans.” Schizophrenia Research 162, no. 1 (n.d.): 153–61. Accessed February 23, 2015. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2015.01.033. (Abstract)

Pushpa-Rajah, Jonathan A., Benjamin C. McLoughlin, Donna Gillies, John Rathbone, Hannele Variend, Eliana Kalakouti, and Katerina Kyprianou. “Cannabis and Schizophrenia.” Schizophrenia Bulletin 41, no. 2 (March 1, 2015): 336–37. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbu168. (Abstract)

Freeman, Daniel, Graham Dunn, Robin M. Murray, Nicole Evans, Rachel Lister, Angus Antley, Mel Slater, et al. “How Cannabis Causes Paranoia: Using the Intravenous Administration of ∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to Identify Key Cognitive Mechanisms Leading to Paranoia.” Schizophrenia Bulletin 41, no. 2 (March 1, 2015): 391–99. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbu098. (Abstract)

Barrowclough, Christine, Lynsey Gregg, Fiona Lobban, Sandra Bucci, and Richard Emsley. “The Impact of Cannabis Use on Clinical Outcomes in Recent Onset Psychosis.” Schizophrenia Bulletin 41, no. 2 (March 1, 2015): 382–90. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbu095. (Abstract)

8 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not personally a pot smoker, but am quite certain it could cause a psychosis in anyone – especially since it’s so high in THC now. And this type of psychosis is, of course, not a “life long, incurable, genetic mental illness” called schizophrenia. And therefore should never be diagnosed as such.

    Plus, the antipsychotics / neuroleptics cause psychosis, too. The psychiatric industry does not seem to be acknowledging this reality, or aware of it. Proof from drugs.com:

    ” … neuroleptics … may result in … the anticholinergic intoxication syndrome … Central symptoms may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

    I hope the psychiatric industry will soon get out of the business of misdiagnosing the central symptoms of neuroleptic induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome as schizophrenia and bipolar.

  2. Its true that marijuana triggers psychotic activities in some people who have a gene marker for it and based on the potency level – it can boost chances of getting schizophrenia to upto 60%. THC causes psychedelic experiences but CBD is known to have high levels of curing mental disorders such as schizophrenia. So when taking marijuana without knowing to petency level of THC, know that you’re risking big time. However, recovery from schizophrenia is definitely possible. I like the mental health recovery works of Will Jiang, who suffered from it and wrote an ardent autobiography called, “A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope” which is quite inspriational, just as his book, “Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition and Complementary Therapies”. Find some time to read more about how he recovered fully from schizophrenia http://www.mentalhealthbooks.net. And, as it turns out, he earns a living as a designer and refused to allow his condition take away everything he loved to do. I believe this is his web design firm. http://www.newyorkwebdesign.nyc It is hard to believe this man suffers from schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is recoverable and patients can move on to live normal lives. On the other hand, drugs such as weed and alcohol makes things difficult and can lengthen the condition to last for good.

  3. I really think it is all about dosage and strain. Cannabis can be good in a lot of ways if used mindfully and maturely and appropriately. Doing large bong hits or using excessive, over indulgent amounts of possibly,adulterated cannabis with no knowledge of cannabinoid content in covert secretive circumstances is not healthy and will probably contribute to a out of whack brain/body chemistry that compounded with other life stresses and toxicity can contribute to mental/emotional/psychological health issues.Just as taking a lot of tylenol, or drinking too much, or too much anything can undermine health. If people are sensitive to using it but still enjoy it or find it benefits or helps them in other ways such that they do not want to quit then they should consider experimenting with the right amount or dosage as well as find strains with a appropriate cbd and thc content. Unfortunately it is hard to be this mindful when it is still illegal and people are already indoctrinated into a culture of over indulgence.