*A new study suggests that people who use high potency cannabis may be at high risk of both psychosis and addiction.
“With the increasing strength of cannabis available in the U.S. and around the globe, it’s important to understand the long-term health outcomes that might be associated with using these types of products as compared to what has traditionally been available,” said Ziva Cooper, the director of the UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids.
A report published Monday in The Lancet Psychiatry suggests that “people who use high-potency cannabis are more likely to experience addiction and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia,” per Axios.
Per NIH: “Recent research suggests that smoking high-potency marijuana every day could increase the chances of developing psychosis by nearly five times compared to people who have never used marijuana. The amount of drug used, the age at first use, and genetic vulnerability have all been shown to influence this relationship.”
Legalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level Could Benefit Public Health. Here’s Why
New research suggests legalizing cannabis at the federal level could help mitigate the sales of high-potency cannabis, which may be harmful.
— Todd Harrison (@todd_harrison) July 27, 2022
The study notes that “The strongest evidence to date concerns links between marijuana use and psychiatric disorders in those with a preexisting genetic or other vulnerability.”
Per NIH: “Recent research (see “AKT1 Gene Variations and Psychosis“) has found that people who use marijuana and carry a specific variant of the AKT1 gene, which codes for an enzyme that affects dopamine signaling in the striatum, are at increased risk of developing psychosis.”
“We know from animal studies that higher doses of THC are more likely to cause addiction than lower doses,” said the study’s lead author, Kat Petrilli, a doctoral student in the department of psychology at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, NBC News reports. “As people are exposed to higher doses of THC through the use of higher-potency cannabis, this may increase the likelihood that it can cause long-term changes, such as to cannabinoid receptors in the brain which are associated with psychosis risk.”
Petrilli added, “Choosing to use lower-potency cannabis products could help to make cannabis use safer and offers a sensible strategy for harm reduction.”
Here’s more via NIH:
Adverse Consequences of Marijuana Use
Acute (present during intoxication)
- Impaired short-term memory
- Impaired attention, judgment, and other cognitive functions
- Impaired coordination and balance
- Increased heart rate
- Anxiety, paranoia
- Psychosis (uncommon)
Persistent (lasting longer than intoxication, but may not be permanent)
- Impaired learning and coordination
- Sleep problems
Long-term (cumulative effects of repeated use)
- Potential for marijuana addiction
- Impairments in learning and memory with potential loss of IQ*
- Increased risk of chronic cough, bronchitis
- Increased risk of other drug and alcohol use disorders
- Increased risk of schizophrenia in people with genetic vulnerability**
Learn more via the video report below: