Study shows that marijuana use is unlikely to cause psychosis

Published Jun 11, 2019 11:15 a.m. ET
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Though there have been thousands of different studies over the last several decades into marijuana use, there is still plenty of misinformation on the possible negative effects of weed being spread across the globe. This is partially due to old stereotypes but is most often caused by mistake in the weed researchers judgment or perception of the situation. One of the most commonly believed myths about marijuana use is that it can lead to psychosis and or schizophrenia, which has scared many potential customers from trying the newly legal substance. The trouble is that the studies which showed this correlation did not account for numerous other influencing factors.

The study

The weed research, which was conducted by Marta D Forti, who is a scientist that works for the MRC clinic. Forti, along with a group of colleagues from Lancet Psychiatry speculated that any prior formal research on the link between highly potent cannabis strains and the risk for psychosis was full of partially skewed data. This is because most of the studies so far had not considered other possible influential factors including genetics, monozygotic twin pairs, and the mental state of an individual before they began partaking in marijuana use.

This new study looked at all the possible factors, including genetic liability and predisposition that many individuals who consume cannabis are believed to have. These researchers looked at over 20 different marijuana use studies and performed their reports to examine the differences between the two.

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The results

What these researchers found was that there was, in fact, a significant portion measured at around 87% of cannabis consumers who had at least one factor that could lead to a predisposition towards marijuana use. They also found that other so-called negative effects of weed were often perceived to be due to cannabis use but were tied to a preexisting problem and or medical condition. What was perhaps the most significant finding from all of this weed research, is the confirmation of these claims. Many of the original papers used as a base for their study were from almost 30 years ago, and since then marijuana use rates have risen in Australia (their location of study) by 30%, yet the rates of psychosis have remained virtually unchanged.

What does this mean?

This latest weed research shows what so many scientists, growers, and consumers have believed for years, which is that many of those who choose to partake in smoking cannabis do so most often as an act of self-medicating regardless of whether they realize it or not. It also means that the negative effects of weed are not nearly as dire as initially believed, and even goes so far as to point towards a severe misinterpretation of data over the years which is the reason for this belief. The truth is that THC is not toxic, and there is absolutely no reason at all to believe that it is harmful in any way which would be required to be the official cause of either a schizophrenic or psychotic episode.

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