If Pot Makes You Psychotic, Blame Your Genes
Genetic marker may predispose users to psychotic episodes: study
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 20, 2012 8:31 AM CST
A marijuana grower shows plants he is growing with some friends in Montevideo, Uruguay, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

(Newser) – While most marijuana smokers don't suffer drug-linked psychotic episodes, some do—and the difference may come down to genetics. Users with a particular genetic marker face twice the risk of psychosis associated with the drug, a study finds; those with the marker who smoke pot daily are seven times more likely than other daily tokers to experience psychosis, LiveScience reports.

The genetic marker is a variation of the AKT1 gene, which happens to be linked to dopamine, a brain chemical that's abnormal among people with psychosis. "Our findings help to explain why one cannabis user develops psychosis while his friends continue smoking without problems," says an author of the London study, which observed 489 people who'd suffered psychotic episodes and 278 who hadn't. The study may contribute to future treatments for cannabis psychosis, says an expert.

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Showing 3 of 39 comments
Nov 25, 2012 6:17 PM CST
I know a couple of people who admit to me that they smoke and they are both bi-polar wackos. Happy, mad, happy, mad, happy, mad, happy, mad. Happy when they are high, mad and ANGRY when they are not. Just stay away from me.
Nov 22, 2012 1:22 PM CST
so let me get this right.... Big pharma puts out a drug that is ultra expensive and has a list of side effects that go from the mild to the might kill you should you react wrong. and those are totally cool? Weed has a side effect in a small number of people that they might trip balls and it's considered reason to keep it banned. I call bullshit.* *side effects may apply
Nov 21, 2012 8:41 PM CST
I know of a person who was a heavy pot smoker for > 40 yrs. who developed psychosis. I suppose it's like anything done in excess, if you've a underlying predisposition to develop a certain condition & you do something which will aggravate it, especially in excess, you'll likely suffer the consequences. Booze & cigarettes are both far more dangerous & perfectly legal.