Marijuana Induced Psychosis

If the past is a foreign country, it’s one where the weed is a lot less potent. This may be part of the reason that psychosis as a result of marijuana intake is becoming more of a concern.

Legal, certainly in some places. But safe? One of the principles of toxicology (the study of poisons) is that “the dose makes the poison”. Most medicines (indeed, most substances) are toxic in sufficient quantity though they may be safe in smaller doses.

One of the risks of marijuana use that’s becoming more apparent is psychosis. Psychosis is essentially a break from reality and can include various forms of hallucinations.

What do we know?

  • “15% of new cases of psychosis are assosiated with cannabis”
  • Exposure during adolescense multiplies the risk of developing schizophrenia
  • There appears to be a correlation between an increase in marijuana strength and an increase in schizophrenia diagnosis
  • In Ontario, Cannabis-related ER visits in the 10-24 year olds increased almost 5x between 2003 and 2017
  • Almost half the people diagnosed with cannabis-induced psychosis go on to be diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

Is any of this conclusive? No. And there seem to be a lot of factors determining likelihood of psychosis: age, frequency of use, concentration, etc.

On the other hand, we can’t technically prove that cigarettes cause cancer either. Correlation might not be causation, but sometimes it’s pretty suggestive of it.


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