Marijuana and Psychosis | Can Marijuana Cause Psychosis?
In so many ways marijuana has become an almost mainstream substance. It’s been legalized for medical use in many states across the country, and several states have also made recreational use of marijuana legal.
There are some benefits of marijuana that are coming to light through medical research, but when something becomes so commonly used and talked about, it tends to create a false sense of security about its safety. In many ways, marijuana may be a safe substance, but there are potential risks to be aware of, as with any substance.
What about marijuana and psychosis? Is there are a relationship here, and can marijuana cause psychosis?
This topic is explored in-depth below.
It’s important to make the distinction that psychosis is a symptom, rather than an illness in and of itself. Psychosis is often linked to substance abuse or underlying mental or physical illnesses. One example of a mental disorder that involves psychosis is schizophrenia.
People experiencing psychosis can’t differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t, and their speech can become disorganized.
Other symptoms that may accompany psychosis include depression, sleep problems, and anxiety.
A traumatic event, such as an assault or the death of a loved one can lead to psychosis, as can brain injuries, tumors, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It may also be a symptom of bipolar disorder.
When someone experiences symptoms of psychosis, it’s essential they seek professional help right away.
There are treatments for psychosis, which will depend on the reason it’s happening.
Psychosis can be scary for the people who are experiencing it, and the individuals around them.
Psychosis is separated into groups including brief psychosis and organic psychosis, as well as drug-induced psychosis which is why people ask about marijuana and psychosis.
For some people, the use of the substance can trigger psychosis, while for people who are addicts if they attempt to stop using the substance suddenly they may experience psychosis.
It is possible that marijuana can cause psychosis. Whether this occurs or the severity of the situation depends on factors including the marijuana itself, and how often someone uses marijuana, as well as how much they use at one time.
People can experience acute intoxication from marijuana, and in this situation, symptoms can include feeling separated from reality, experience visual or sound illusions that aren’t there, and having hallucinations and delusions. With marijuana intoxication, the symptoms will usually disappear a few hours after using the drug, but for some people, the delusions and psychotic symptoms may last up to a week.
The likelihood of marijuana and psychosis occurring together is highest in people who are predisposed to paranoia and certain psychosis-related symptoms. For example, people who have experienced mild psychotic symptoms without the use of the substance may be at a higher risk for developing psychosis when using marijuana.
There have been some research studies that have also shown possible longer-term links between marijuana and psychosis, although they haven’t delivered a causal link as of yet. The potential links between marijuana and psychosis appear to be greater for younger users of the drug, as opposed to older users.
Something else that people should consider with marijuana and psychosis is that when you buy the drug off the streets in an unregulated marketplace, you don’t necessarily know how strong it is or what else it might contain. This might explain some of the links between marijuana and psychosis, particularly as very potent strains have hit the marketplace over the years.
Can marijuana cause psychosis?
With marijuana and psychosis, it is possible for people to experience short-term symptoms related to psychosis. This often depends on variables such as the potency of the marijuana they use and how long they use it for. It’s an acute intoxication from marijuana that can contribute to short-term psychosis.
There are other risks to be aware of with marijuana and psychosis as well, though, particularly in people who are already predisposed to psychotic symptoms. Long-term marijuana use, particularly when young people start using marijuana, may increase the risk of psychosis in certain people.
Have more questions about Marijuana abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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