According to a new study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, smoking high-potency marijuana can increase the user’s risk of developing numerous psychiatric disorders. Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, England studied approximately 800 subjects between the ages of 18 and 65.
At the start of the study, 410 participants had reportedly experienced an initial incident of psychosis. 370 healthy participants were used as a control group. After analyzing the volunteers’ use of marijuana, the investigative team discovered that compared to subjects who had not ever smoked marijuana, subjects who tried the more potent pot had three times the risk of developing a psychiatric disorder. Participants who smoked the high-potency marijuana every day were five times more likely to risk developing psychosis.
Senior researcher Sir Robin Murray, a psychiatric research professor at KC stated in an official release: “Skeptics still claim that this is not an important cause of schizophrenia-like psychosis. This paper suggests that we could prevent almost one-quarter of cases of psychosis if no one smoked high-potency cannabis.”
The study authors note that the results of their research are important because the potency as well as the frequency of use is often not even considered when researching how dangerous a drug can be and yet these same factors are actually crucial in discovering exactly how a drug will affect a user’s mental health.
Lead author Marta Di Forti, a clinician scientist, concluded: “As with smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol you need a clear public message. 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.”
Smoking Potent Marijuana Causes Psychiatric Disorders