According to recent research, too much chronic cannabis use increases the chances of serious mental illness
Risk of mental illness. Recreational cannabis is the most commonly used illegal substance. But some psychiatrists believe that while it is true that it can produce relaxation and happiness, in some cases it can produce feelings of anxiety and paranoia; what we all know as a bad trip.
According to Dr. Marta di Forti of King’s College London, there is evidence that daily cannabis use increases the risk of developing serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, especially among adolescents.
The younger ones are more vulnerable because their brains have not been fully developed, says Dr. Michael Bloomfield of University College London.
Too much THC and abusive consumption
At first, the most potent cannabis strains did not exceed 9% THC, the cannabis psychoactive cannabis. However, geneticists have developed new strains whose THC content reaches levels that are spectacular.
And if this happens with marijuana plants, the levels of THC that have some extractions are incredible. Is the genetic engineering of cannabis getting out of hand?
In this article we consider two concepts: chronic consumption and marijuana too powerful. Indeed, these researchers estimate that one in 10 new cases of psychosis could be directly related to the chronic use of too strong cannabis.
Researchers go even further and claim that daily cannabis use, regardless of its potency, makes a person more likely to develop an episode of psychosis.
Although experts say the conclusions are not definitive, they say that cannabis users should be aware of the risks of cannabis abuse.
The study has been done, above all, in Amsterdam and London, where it is easy to get very potent cannabis, by The Lancet Psychiatry.
Dr. Marta Di Forti, a prestigious psychiatrist, was very clear when she said that “if you decide to consume too powerful cannabis strains, it is important that you know the risks”.
For his part, Dr. Adrian James, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said that the study was good and that consumers should take seriously the daily use of too powerful cannabis strains.
It is important not to alarm cannabis users. For this it is necessary to explain that people suffering from psychosis lose the notion of reality. They often hear voices, see things that do not exist or suffer delusions. This has nothing to do with being mentally disturbed after the consumption of any psychoactive substance.
There is no agreement among experts regarding whether marijuana can cause or worsen mental health. But it is true that many doctors are concerned about the chronic use of high-potency cannabis. For them, high power means 14% THC or more.
One of those affected by psychosis, who is currently taking three different antipsychotics a day, explains that he was smoking marijuana all day. After two unsuccessful suicide attempts, her mother realized that her son’s mental problems were related to his excessive consumption of cannabis.
This young Englishman spent 10 years smoking marijuana all day and in large quantities, as well as high-potency varieties. When he was aware that his psychosis was related to his abuse of cannabis, he stopped smoking, and the attacks of psychosis disappeared.
The bases of the study
The researchers, from King’s College London, conducted their study on cannabis use among people in 11 cities of the European Union, including London. They made a comparative study among 901 people who had experienced psychosis and 1237 people who had not had a psychotic outbreak.
The study was based on the potency of cannabis. They made a distinction between cannabis with less than 10% THC and cannabis with more than 10% of this cannabinoid.
The study concluded that episodes of psychosis among chronic cannabis users who had some episode of psychosis affected 29.5% (or 266 of the 901) while only 6.8% (84 / 1,237) of the no cannabis users.
Episodes of psychosis occurred much more frequently among chronic high-potency cannabis users: 29.5% versus 19.4% of low-potency cannabis users.
People who used cannabis daily were three times more likely to have a first episode of psychosis than people who had never used cannabis. And the chances increased by up to five times among cannabis users too powerful.
The authors of the study failed to establish a relationship between those who used cannabis once a week or less and psychosis.
The authors believe that one in five new cases (20.4%) of psychosis may be related to daily cannabis use, and one in ten (12.2%) is related to high-potency cannabis use.
The experts in this study believe that probably a fifth (21%) of the new cases of psychosis could be related to the daily consumption of cannabis, and almost a third (30%) with too much cannabis use.
They also believe that if too strong cannabis were withdrawn from the market, they would have a reduction in new cases of psychosis. The decline would be from 45.7 to 31.9 cases per 100,000 people per year in the city of London.
Nick Hickmott, a member of the Addaction alcohol and alcohol charity, believes that there is a real problem with too potent cannabis. People who consume too much cannabis daily are at risk of severe mental harm; especially if they are adolescents whose brain is not fully developed.
Nick Hickmott recommends not consuming daily cannabis too powerful and, above all, not mixing it with alcohol or other drugs.
He also recommends not getting carried away by panic before a bad trip. Many consumers smoke and have no problem. In fact, this happens to the majority. But it recommends that in case of suffering exaggerated outbreaks of anxiety, to resort to the doctor.