Marijuana Triggers Paranoia and Psychosis: Researchers

They didn’t tell us this until AFTER it was legal …

(Columbia University Medical Center)

Marijuana may bring on temporary paranoia and other psychosis-related effects in individuals at high risk of developing a psychotic disorder, finds a preliminary study from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).

No one told us about “cannabis use disorder; until after marijuana was legal. PHOTO: ashton, CC

The study was published last month in an online edition of Psychiatry Research.

Individuals who have had mild or transient psychotic symptoms (such as unusual thoughts, suspiciousness, perceptual disturbances) without using substances such as marijuana or alcohol and have a family history of psychosis or other risk factors are considered at clinical high risk for psychotic disorder.

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Previous studies have found an association between marijuana use and psychosis in the general population, but none have rigorously examined marijuana’s effects in those at greatest risk for psychosis.

“Cannabis use disorder”? And they told us weed is harmless …  

“Many adolescents and young adults who are at high risk for psychosis smoke marijuana regularly or have a cannabis use disorder,” said Margaret Haney, PhD, professor of neurobiology (in Psychiatry) at CUMC and senior author of the paper.

“Yet researchers haven’t studied the effects of marijuana in this population in a rigorous, controlled manner.”

In this double-blinded, placebo-controlled laboratory study, the researchers looked at the effects of marijuana in six high-risk young adults and six controls, all experienced and current marijuana smokers who were physically healthy. Participants smoked half of an active or placebo marijuana cigarette, had psychological and physiological assessments before and after smoking, and then repeated this procedure with the opposite (active or placebo) cigarette.

After smoking active marijuana, both groups had signs of intoxication and increases in heart rate and arousal relative to the placebo. However, only the high-risk group experienced transient increases in paranoia and anxiety, as well as disrupted sensory perception and cognitive performance, after using active marijuana. Neither group experienced these effects after using the placebo. READ THE FULL STORY AT SCIENCE DAILY. 

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