Pot Triggers Psychosis: Study

Young adults who used cannabis nearly twice as likely to suffer psychosis
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2011 5:03 AM CST
Updated Mar 5, 2011 12:21 PM CST
Pot Triggers Psychosis: Study
Researchers excluded anybody who reported pre-existing psychotic symptoms or marijuana use from the study.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Numerous studies have linked marijuana use and psychosis, but some researchers have wondered whether cannabis actually triggers psychotic episodes, or whether people suffering psychosis are using marijuana to treat their symptoms. A new study involving nearly 2,000 young people suggests marijuana may trigger episodes, reports the BBC. The subjects, aged between 14 and 24, were assessed over a 10-year period and researchers found that cannabis users were nearly twice as likely as non-users to suffer psychotic episodes.

The study found that an increase in psychotic episodes followed cannabis use, instead of it being the other way around, the Telegraph notes. The researchers believe THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, makes the brain more susceptible to psychosis. "This study adds a further brick to the wall of evidence showing that use of traditional cannabis is a contributory cause of psychoses like schizophrenia," said a professor of psychiatric research. However, he notes, it did not "address the important question of whether skunk and other potent types of cannabis carry a higher risk of psychosis than traditional resin and marijuana." (And psychosis isn't the old thing pot has been linked to ... click for more.)

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