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

Mar 24, 2019, 01:13
Smoking Marijuana Daily Increases Your Risk of Psychosis, New Study Says

Presenting results of a large worldwide study conducted in one in site Brazil and across 11 sites in Europe - including in Amsterdam, London and Paris - the researchers found that people who used cannabis daily were three times more likely to have an episode of psychosis than people who had never used it.

Low-strength cannabis - with a THC level below 10 per cent - increased the odds of psychosis 2.2-fold if used daily and 1.4-fold if used a few times a week.

Patients were twice as likely to report using skunk compared to healthy people, with nearly 40 percent of the patients admitting to using high-potency cannabis.

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 study authors consider high-potency cannabis to be products with more than 10 percent tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the compound responsible for the drug's psychoactive effects.

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"If you are going to legalise cannabis, unless you want to pay for more a lot more psychiatric beds and a lot more psychiatrists, then you need to devise a system where you would legalise in a way that wouldn't increase the consumption and increase the potency", study author Sir Robin Murray told The Guardian.

A new study published Tuesday in the Lancet Psychiatry journal shows people who use cannabis every day or those who use high-potency weed are at increased risk of psychotic disorder.

Taking any version of the drug on a daily basis was found to triple the chances of developing psychosis. In terms of using high-THC strains, the comparison was 37 to 19 percent, respectively.

For comparison, the team asked more than 1,200 healthy individuals from across the same areas about their cannabis use. Corresponding rates in London were 21.0% for daily use, and 30.3% for high potency use.

In some locations, THC levels are 20 per cent or higher, they noted. The strength of cannabis was estimated from the name individuals gave to the drug. It is perfectly possible that the association between cannabis and psychosis is bidirectional.

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The study was funded by the Medical Research Council, the European Community's Seventh Framework Program grant, Sao Paolo Research Foundation, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London and the NIHR BRC at University College London, and the Wellcome Trust.

[1] Quotes direct from authors and can not be found in the text of the Article.

The study covered the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, and Brazil.

[3] Data derive from the Population Attributable Fraction (PAF) which measures the population effect of an exposure by providing an estimate of the proportion of cases that would be prevented if the exposure (ie, daily/high potency cannabis use) were removed.

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