It appears that strong marijuana causes psychiatric disorders as a new study has linked smoking high-potency marijuana to an increased risk of developing certain psychiatric disorders. The study was published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry and was done by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College in London.
For this study scientists have observed 800 people with ages from 18 to 65 years. At the beginning of the study, it was reported that 410 people had reported at least one episode of psychosis and the rest of 370 had not and were otherwise healthy and used as a control.
The scientists then examined the marijuana use both groups and observed that the participants of the study who smoked the high-potency marijuana tripled their risk of developing psychosis compared to the participants who had never smoked. Also, it was revealed that the people who used the strong marijuana had a fivefold increased risk of experiencing psychosis.
Sir Robin Murray, senior researcher and a psychiatric research professor at King’s College London, commented on the study and said that the results of the study point at the fact that almost one-quarter of cases of psychosis could be prevented if nobody smoked high-potency marijuana.
The study also uncovered that the use of a milder form of marijuana (hash) was not linked to a increased risk of psychosis.
So what does a high-potency marijuana mean? The scientists defined it as having greater than 15% THC content and has was defined as having less than 5% THC content.
According to recent studies, the vast majority of marijuana found in the U.S. is of the high-TCH kind and the strength of the pot is continuing to grow, experts say.
The study authors said that the two factors, potency and frequency of use, are often overlooked when determining the impact a drug can have on a patient’s mental health. With the help of this study these two factors will hopefully become more significant.
Lead author of the study, Marta Di Forti said that the world needs a clear public message, similar to those concerning alcohol and smoking tobacco. She continued:
When a [general practitioner] or psychiatrist asks if a patient uses cannabis, it’s not helpful; it’s like asking whether someone drinks. As with alcohol, the relevant questions are how often and what type of cannabis. This gives more information about whether the user is at risk of mental health problems; awareness needs to increase for this to happen.
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