Does Marijuana Cause Psychosis?

Debates regarding cannabis legalization result in tough questions

The legalization of Marijuana (not everyone knows it’s in the Cannabis Sativa family) has been a hotly debated topic in the new, especially recently in Australia. The arguments sound it stem from a desire to empower the economics of marijuana growing regions, to the protection of civilian health (from potential health issues due to substance abuse.) As the debate rages here, and new protective laws are established globally, both the possibilities and the dangers of dope are being examined.

Anecdotal and evidence based research now say much the same thing

Medical grade marijuana is now readily available for Australian ‘civilian’ access. Persons who suffer from chronic conditions such as cancer, asthma and a myriad of other medical ailments, have been found to experienc immense relief, from the natural healing properties of marijuana.

FACT: In the Caribbean, marijuana derivatives have proven effective in the treatment of optical conditions such as glaucoma.

Young asthmatic children in the country, were often treated with “Ganja Tea” and it was found that their symptoms subsided. Whole communities have been founded to extoll the benefits of marijuana which encourages its ongoing use.

Now, scientists are trying to back this anecdotal evidence with peer reviewed studies. Research conducted so far has supported less formal experience, of the sort we’ve stated above. They suggest that the human body responds much more readily to medical marijuana than some of the alternative synthesized drug options, which often have harsher side effects.

Recreational utilization of marijuana is alsobecoming commonplace. Many artists have reported a liberation of their subconscious minds, and increased creativity during marijuana usage. Popular reggae artists like the late Bob Marley, openly attributed some of his writings to indulging in some recreational marijuana usage. Rap artists such as Whiz Khalifa, also have their line of recreational grade marijuana that is available for consumption. Whiz’s Line is called Khalifa Kush, and is available for purchase, in four US locations. There are merits to be gained, it seems, from calming our logical mind, with cannabis.

Like all substances ingested in the human body, beyond a particular threshold, the component becomes either a medicine or poison. This is where the debate of the relationship between marijuana and psychosis starts.

With either medicinal or recreational use, with abuse, it is possible to induce states of alternate reality, which can be dangerous to the imbiber or to their surrounding friends and family. The following discussion aims to delve into the factorsthat validate a connection between marijuana consumption and psychosis.

What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is not a natural occurrence, but the by-product of either a pre-existing mental condition, or a symptom induced by hallucinations from substance abuse. Depending on the trigger, the particular psychosis experienced has the potential to spiral into other mental health related conditions such as depression or anxiety.

FACT: Psychosis is: “A severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.”

Alternately, any severe trauma, brain injuries or ‘natural’ maladies such as a tumor can also induce psychosis. For the purposes of this discussion, it’s worth differentiating baseline health condition induced psychosis, and identifying how marijuana alone can act as the agent that induces psychosis.

Marijuana Drug- Induced Psychosis

It has already been scientifically proven that drug usage can trigger psychosis.

Many of the common over the counter drugs that treat conditions such as colds, have warnings that indicate conditions such as the potential for drowsiness. These warnings are an indication of the alteration of the consciousness of an individual. Any drug, simulant or hallucinogen or alcohol that has the potential to alter human consciousness from its normal, has the potential to induce psychosis, if the consumption is at an appropriate level.

As with all substances, the reaction to a drug is an individual response, dependent on a variety of genetic and environmental factors. When you look at alcohol consumption, there are some persons who develop into addicts through repeated exposure, while others react quite normally to regular consumption. Interactions between body chemistry and genetics determine the final outcome .In a similar vein, there will be some individuals who can utilize marijuana for either medical or recreational usage, who develop psychosis symptoms and there will be some who don’t.

Studies have shown that the psychosis can be induced via direct consumption. Alternately, addicted users who attempt to rehabilitate themselves, have induced states of psychosis during withdrawal, as they quit old habits. The root cause varies by individual, but it’s important to be aware of all possibilities.

Marijuana usage has been strongly linked to psychosis. There are often various factors at play in the marijuana induced psychosis. Typically, understanding the history of the sufferer will identify how the psychosis is triggered. Questions to ask include typical mental health history, as well as marijuana consumption trends. A general root cause is acute intoxication caused by over consumption.

According to the Recovery Village, the following extract highlights the phenomenon of acute intoxication from marijuana:

“People can experience acute intoxication from marijuana, and in this situation, symptoms can include feeling separated from reality, experience visual or sound illusions that aren’t there, and having hallucinations and delusions. With marijuana intoxication, the symptoms will usually disappear a few hours after using the drug, but for some people, the delusions and psychotic symptoms may last up to a week. The likelihood of marijuana and psychosis occurring together is highest in people who are predisposed to paranoia and certain psychosis-related symptoms. For example, people who have experienced mild psychotic symptoms without the use of the substance may be at a higher risk for developing psychosis when using marijuana.”

Genetics, life experience and cannabis each contribute to the possibility of psychosis

In conclusion, there is a strong correlation between marijuana usage and psychosis in sufferers.

Psychosis is either induced by consumption, or withdrawal when people stop. The responses vary per individual. Whether it will affect you and can only be determined by a detailed understanding of your health history your consumption pattern.

Your own life experiences and your genetics are a much bigger influence on whether or not you’ll suffer psychosis from marijuana use. Many of those, of course, are beyond your control. The link, between the voluntary use of cannabis and psychosis, however, is clear. Even a small amount of cannabis can induce psychosis. Long term marijuana usage also indicates a higher risk of psychosis and, cannabis is more prevalent in circumstances of psychosis. For example, 25% of schizophrenics also have a problem with cannabis use.

Published by Neil

Neil believes Cannabis has medical benefits and should be prescribed by a Doctor. This site aims to provide accurate information on the science and legality of Cannabis so you can make informed decisions.

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