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Marijuana Use and Psychosis: The Debate Continues

Marijuana Use and Psychosis: The Debate Continues Two new research studies debate the causal relationship between cannabis use and the risk factor for psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia.

In an article entitled “Cannabis and psychosis: what causes what?” David Castle, M.D., of the University of Melbourne argues for a underlying link between cannabis use and an increased risk of psychotic symptoms.

But Castle offers the caveat that very few cases of schizophrenia would be prevented by a global abolition of cannabis.

This perspective is endorsed in an associated article calling for stronger evidence before declaring cannabis a possible causal factor in the development of schizophrenia.

Its authors argue that while acute psychotic experiences can be linked to cannabis use, the nature of the connection to schizophrenia inevitably remains much less certain.

In general, researchers argue that more robust evidence is required to determine whether preventing cannabis use will have any substantial impact on preventing psychotic disorders in the population, or within specific high-risk subgroups.

Nevertheless, both sides agree that cannabis is a public health concern and that the public should be made fully aware of the risks associated with using the drug.

Castle said this perspective is relevant for those who have a family history of schizophrenia or who have experienced psychosis-like symptoms, as they may be at greater risk.

Source: Faculty of 1000

Young man smoking marijuana photo by shutterstock.

Marijuana Use and Psychosis: The Debate Continues

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Marijuana Use and Psychosis: The Debate Continues. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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