High potency cannabis, when consumed daily, is ‘strongly linked’ to the chances of emerging psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and paranoia, said by scientists.
In Amsterdam and London, where high-THC marijuana has long been the casual thing rather than a taboo -- 50 and 30% of the increasing psychosis cases, respectively, were linked with potent forms of the drug.
The results reported The Lancet, bolster a growing body of research connecting pot to a range of mental health disorders. It’s because of the piecemeal legalization and decriminalisation, consumption in North America and Europe has increased market over the last two decades, even as levels of the drug’s mind-bending molecule, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have risen four- or five-fold.
“The use of cannabis with a high concentration of THC has more harmful effects on mental health than the use of weaker forms,” said lead author Marta Di Forti, a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London.
“Our findings also indicate for the first time how cannabis use affects the incidence of psychotic disorder at a population level.”
It’s 11 European cities or regions, and a 12th in Brazil, one in five new cases of psychosis were connected to daily cannabis use, and one in ten to high potency pot, the study concluded.
The high potential-THC cannabis -- including strains such as “trainwreck”, “gorilla glue”, and “Hindu Kush” -- were no longer available, “12% of cases of first-episode psychosis could be prevented across Europe,” the researchers analyzed.
“As the legal status of cannabis changes in many countries and states, and as we consider the medicinal properties of some types of cannabis, it is of vital public health importance to consider the potential adverse effects that are associated with daily cannabis use, especially high potency varieties,” said Di Forti.
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