Contrary to the beliefs of some people, marijuana can have dangerous side effects. A study that was recently published in the British medical journal, the Lancet, highlights this by confirming that regular users of marijuana are more likely to experience psychosis than people who have never used marijuana. As more people start to research the effects of marijuana on the body and the brain, it is becoming clear that people who use the drug on a regular basis are putting their physical and mental health at risk.
“Compared with those who had never tried cannabis, users of high potency skunk-like cannabis had a threefold increase in risk of psychosis. The risk to those who use every day was even higher – a fivefold increase compared to people who never use,” explained Marta Di Forti, the study’s lead author.
The study looked at 780 people living in London, and 410 of those people were being treated for mental conditions. The researchers noted that frequency of marijuana use seems to be important when it comes to the toll a person’s mind. People who use daily are more likely to experience negative side effects associated with the drug compared to infrequent users.
Throughout the world there are tens of thousands of people who are treated for psychosis every year. Researchers hope that this study will enlighten doctors and patients about the potency of marijuana these days. People who abstain from marijuana are far less likely to experience the same sort of mental problems that an avid marijuana user is likely to experience.
Preventing people from having to go through mental anguish is the goal of the research. It is not usual to locate a reason for mental illness that is so easily avoidable. “This paper suggests that we could prevent almost one quarter of cases of psychosis if no one smoked high potency cannabis,” commented Robin Murray, another researcher on the study.
Researchers in England are not the only ones looking into marijuana and its connection to psychosis. Scientists in Australia conducted a similar study with similar results in 2010. As more information like the results of these studies surface, it reinforces the notion that drug interventions are valuable tools to help substance abusers.