When Oregon legalized cannabis for all users over the age of 21, we knew the plant had the potential to induce psychosis in some users. However, those reports were few, and many of us thought those cases were limited to people with prior history of psychosis, such as those with schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder with psychotic aspects. Since cannabis was so thoroughly prohibited previously, we weren’t able to do proper trials. With expanding legalization, epidemiological data is coming in.
A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry reports an increase in cases of psychosis among heavy cannabis users, with a significant increase in risk when high potency strains are used and/ or heavy use begins in adolescence. Link to a summary from NPR with additional links HERE.
This news has not altered my position on cannabis. I continue to believe public health would be best served by establishing over the counter and prescription strengths of cannabis; releasing public money for the study of cannabis, and restricting recreational sales to people over age 25.
The cannabis enthusiasts continue to misrepresent the safety of the plant. It is not safe for all people at every level of consumption. Heavy cannabis use is linked to chronic vomiting, and now to psychosis. Educate yourself, your loved ones, be a knowledgeable consumer, and treat this powerful plant with great respect. Be safe, everyone.