Smoking Marijuana Daily Increases Your Risk of Psychosis, New Study Says

The link was strongest in London with 30.3 percent of new cases and in Amsterdam with half of the new cases.

Many countries have legally approved cannabis use.

Cannabis use is associated with increased odds of psychotic disorder, according to a study published online March 19 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

A new European study has linked marijuana use to psychotic episodes.

The study reported on first-time psychotic episodes, and people can experience psychosis without ever being diagnosed with a long-term mental health condition, NIMH says.

The team involved 901 individuals who had experienced first-time psychosis and 1,237 healthy controls in their study.

"Our findings are consistent with previous studies showing that the use of cannabis with a high concentration of THC has more harmful effects on mental health than the use of weaker forms", said Marta Di Forti, lead author from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London.

The team found that nearly 30 percent of people who had experienced psychosis used cannabis daily, while less than 7 percent of the controls did. The risk increases to five times for people who use high-potency cannabis on a daily basis.

Cannabis is defined as being strong when it has a THC level of more than 10 per cent.

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The new study "raises real concerns about the dangers posed by high-potency marijuana", said Emily Feinstein, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Center on Addiction. In the Netherlands, THC content can be as high as 67 percent, while 94 percent of highly potent, "skunk" pot in London averages 14 percent THC, the researchers said.

For example, in Amsterdam, four in 10 (43.8%) new cases of psychosis were estimated to be linked to daily cannabis use, and 5 in 10 (50.3%) new cases linked to high potency use [3].

If skunk was taken off the streets of London, new cases of psychosis would drop 30 per cent, from 46 to 32 cases per 100,000 people, she said.

The authors note that the data on cannabis use was not validated by biological measures such as urine, blood or hair samples. The estimates on potency also do not include the proportion of cannabidiol (CBD), another important component of cannabis.

The new research adds to prior studies that have found links between marijuana and psychotic disorders, but it still does not definitively pinpoint marijuana as the cause.

The budding photographer began smoking super-strength skunk aged just 15 and started locking himself in his room for 20 hours a day. It was paid for by funders including Britain's Medical Research Council, the Sao Paulo Research Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

Researchers at King's College London and elsewhere analyzed data from a dozen sites across Europe and Brazil from 2010 to 2015.

For the first time it also looked at 900 psychosis patients and...

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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