What Causes Schizophrenia
There is no single-known cause of schizophrenia, although there are contributing factors and risk factors. There also is a known connection between marijuana use and schizophrenia, but to say that the drug causes the mental illness is an overreach. Imaging studies of the brain have shown that there are structural and chemical differences in people with schizophrenia, but what causes these is not clear. Known factors that contribute to the development and the risk of schizophrenia include:
- Genetics and family history
Whats The Best Advice
Although the exact nature of the marijuana-schizophrenia link is still murky, doctors know enough to offer some guidelines:
- Itâs wise for teens to avoid marijuana or delay using it until they are adults.
- If you have schizophrenia, donât use marijuana.
- If you have a family history of schizophrenia or other psychotic illness, avoid marijuana.
- If you are a caregiver for someone who has schizophrenia and uses marijuana, encourage them to quit.
What Is Your Marijuana Iq
How much do you really want to know about the risks of marijuana? You might be surprised.
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is addictive. Research shows that:
- 1-in-6 people who start using the drug before the age of 18 can become addicted.
- 1-in-10 adults who use the drug can become addicted.
Over the past few decades, the amount of THC in marijuana has steadily climbed today’s marijuana has three times the concentration of THC compared to 25 years ago. The higher the THC amount, the stronger the effects on the brainlikely contributing to increased rates of marijuana-related emergency room visits. While there is no research yet on how higher potency affects the long-term risks of marijuana use, more THC is likely to lead to higher rates of dependency and addiction.
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Can Marijuana Cause Psychosis
Yes, its been shown that marijuana can cause psychosis, says David Streem, MD, a psychiatrist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Regular cannabis users suffer double the risk of developing psychosis, from 0.07 to 0.14 percent. Its one of the few consistent findings in recent cannabis research, says Dr. Streem, referencing results from research published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
The Difference Between Causation And Association In Scientific Research
Association is established when you take a large population of people with a condition and then look at various things that they might have done, he says. When you identify a certain behavior, then you can begin to figure out if that behavior is associated with a greater likelihood of that person developing the condition, having the condition, or having the condition more intensely, says Bostwick. Marijuana use is associated with schizophrenia, but researchers cant prove direct causation.
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Teens Who Use Cannabis At Risk Of Schizophrenia
Exposure to marijuana in adolescence leads to schizophrenia-like changes in the brain, according to research published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.
Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that 15% of 8th graders have tried marijuana and over 1% use it daily.
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, can induce sensations of relaxation and euphoria, but anxiety, fear, distrust and panic are also common, especially with high doses or if the marijuana is unexpectedly potent.
Short-term effects include loss of memory and judgment and distortion of perception, leading to impaired performance in school or at work. It can also be addictive.
In teens, marijuana affects brain systems that are still maturing, potentially leading to a negative and long-lasting effect on cognitive development.
Large doses of marijuana may induce acute psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions and a loss of the sense of personal identity.
- 45% of 12th-grade students in the US have used marijuana at some time
- 15% have used it within the last month
- 6% use it daily.
These reactions are usually unpleasant but temporary however, longer-lasting psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, have been associated with the use of marijuana.
Most of the intoxicating effects that recreational users seek are caused by the main psychoactive or mind-altering chemical in the drug, delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol .
How To Recover From Acute Psychosis The Importance Of Treatment
Cannabis-induced psychosis often resolves itself once the drug has cleared the body, but in many cases the symptoms are distressing enough to warrant immediate treatment. Treatment may be administered in an emergency room, a psychiatric hospital, or a residential facility that specializes in mental illness or substance use disorders. Immediate treatment usually includes supervised detox, so the drug can leave the body, and keeping the patient in a calm environment. Antipsychotic medications may be used to help relieve the symptoms more quickly.
It may be easy for someone who experiences cannabis-induced psychosis to brush it off once the symptoms have passed and to ignore the need for treatment. However, many people in this situation have an underlying mental illness, possibly a psychotic condition, a substance use disorder, or both, and needs to be treated on an ongoing basis to prevent or minimize any future psychotic episodes.
Residential treatment for substance-induced psychosis and related conditions typically revolves around behavioral therapies. These are treatments that help a patient learn to recognize and identify symptoms and negative thoughts and behaviors and take steps to change them. Therapists also teach patients how to use healthy coping mechanisms and stress-relief strategies, and how to make healthy lifestyle changes to support better mental health. Treatment may also include medications if appropriate.
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Certain Genes In Your Body May Trigger The Condition If You Use Marijuana
Some recent studies have examined specific genes you may have in your body and how they may increase your risk for schizophrenia. If you have a certain type of AKTI gene and use marijuana, your risk of developing a psychotic disorder can increase according to a 2012 study of nearly 500 people experiencing psychosis, plus a control group.
The frequency of marijuana intake also comes into play with this gene. Those who use the drug every day and have this gene variant may be at a for schizophrenia than those with the variant who do not use the drug or who use it very infrequently.
Do Different Types Of Cannabis Affect Mental Health Differently
To some degree yes.
Most cannabis products are made up of two cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol .
THC is the main psychoactive component in street cannabis which produces the high and is usually the cause of any negative side effects. CBD has no psychoactive effects.11
People who use extremely strong THC cannabis concentrates may put themselves at a greater risk of experiencing mental health harms such as depression, anxiety and psychosis.9, 12
CBD is mostly used in industrial hemp products and medicinal cannabis, usually without any THC. This is unlikely to cause any serious negative effects for mental health.
In fact, research is looking into the potential of CBD-based cannabis medicines to actually help with conditions such as depression, anxiety or psychosis. However, the evidence behind this isnt strong yet.13, 14
Smaller amounts of THC also have therapeutic benefits and youll find THC in some medicinal cannabis products.13 This is why its important to always consult with a doctor if youre interested in accessing medicinal cannabis and have any current or past mental health issues.
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Considering The Links And Risks When There Are So Many Unknown Facts
One way to think about the relationship between schizophrenia and marijuana use is to look at the symptoms or behaviors of each, he says. If you already have a tendency toward psychosis or paranoia due to one illness and then you start using a substance that has a tendency toward psychosis or paranoia on top of that, then you have a double effect thing going on, he says.
Psychological Effects Of Long Term Marijuana Use
When potent preparations of marijuana are consumed regularly, in large amounts, for many years, are there any detrimental long term effects? As with any drug, consuming large amounts over an extended period of time is going to result in some sort of dependence and psychological changes. So what are some changes that you may experience if you abuse marijuana over the long term?
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Cannabis Products Are Everywhere These Days
Cannabis products are everywhere these days. As a growing number of states loosen their medical and recreational cannabis laws, millions of Americans are using the cannabis sativaplant, typically known as , to relax or treat pain, anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. Yet more data is needed on its impact. The nation has warmed toward the use of cannabis, but policy continues to outpace the science, says neuroscientist Staci Gruber, EdM 95, PhD, whos working to change that.
Gruber, a Harvard Medical School associate professor of psychiatry, directs both the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core and the program at McLean Hospital. She and her team are using cognitive and clinical measures, as well as neuroimaging techniques like functional MRI, to help elucidate how cannabis affects the human brain. They have discovered, for example, that individuals who start heavy recreational marijuana use before age 16when the brain is still developingmay perform more poorly on cognitive or behavioral tasks involving the frontal cortex, such as memory, attention, and judgment, than those who dont use cannabis or who started using it later in life. A recent paper that Gruber co-authored underscored these findings using results from a simulated driving test. Neuroimaging has also revealed changes in white matter, the neural fibers critical for efficient communication among brain regions, in early-onset cannabis users.
Managing And Treating Drug Use
If you believe or know that your child is using marijuana, discuss these very serious risks. It may be useful to help your child stop using by providing treatment options. Outpatient counseling can help, but consider a residential program for treatment that will provide long-term solutions.
Residential care offers expert treatment from a variety of mental health and addiction professionals. Your child will learn in a safe environment and benefit from the support of other residents. They will get and practice the tools necessary to move forward in college and in life without feeling the need to use drugs. Getting ahead of the problem now could prevent more serious consequences later and set your child up for lifelong good mental health.
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The Role Of Bdnf And The Hippocampus
Alongside the original study, the scientists investigated potential pathways that might explain the increased schizophrenia risk with cannabis use. One of the lead researchers, Prof. Dani Offen, explains their theory: A protective mechanism was observed in the non-susceptible mice. This mechanism involves the upregulation of a protective neurotrophic factor, BDNF , in the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is a region of the brain heavily involved in emotion and memory. Scientists have found a range of anatomical and functional differences in the hippocampus of individuals with schizophrenia.
To test their theory, the researchers gave BDNF to the schizophrenia-susceptible mice. They found that THC exposure no longer produced psychiatric symptoms. The introduction of BDNF prevented the development of schizophrenia. Normally, BDNF supports existing neurons and encourages the growth of new synapses and neurons.
Overall, the studys findings have clear implications for public health. The authors warn that young people who have a family history of psychiatric conditions or have responded strongly to drugs previously should be particularly cautious around marijuana during their adolescence.
Additionally, the relationship between cannabis, schizophrenia, and BDNF can now be explored to help design drugs that could reduce the negative consequences of cannabis on psychiatric health.
Pot Can Trigger Psychotic Symptoms For Some But Do The Effects Last
High-end marijuana buds on sale at a Denver dispensary.hide caption
High-end marijuana buds on sale at a Denver dispensary.
In the “American Sniper” murder trial, prosecutors successfully countered Eddie Ray Routh’s plea of not guilty by reason of insanity by saying that he just seemed psychotic because he was high. But scientists continue to argue over whether marijuana-induced psychosis is always short-lived or if there’s a deeper connection at play.
Nobody would question that marijuana can make some people temporarily experience psychotic symptoms, says Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute for Drug Abuse at the National Institutes for Health. “But can cannabis by itself trigger the schizophrenic disease? That’s not so clear,” she says.
Volkow says it’s important to make that distinction. Drugs like marijuana or methamphetamine can make someone experience symptoms like paranoia, hostility and disorganized thinking. But that’s very different from a chronic, persistent psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. “You can have a psychotic episode from the use of marijuana without it turning into schizophrenia,” Volkow says. “It’s very distressing, but you’ll get out of it.”
Still, some researchers are convinced that marijuana contributes to the development of schizophrenia. There have been nine studies following hundreds to thousands of people for decades looking for a connection between marijuana use and psychosis.
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Heavy Marijuana Use Doesnt Damage Brain
Analysis of Studies Finds Little Effect From Long-Term Use
July 1, 2003 Long-term and even daily use doesnt appear to cause permanent brain damage, adding to evidence that it can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, say researchers.
The researchers found only a very small impairment in memory and learning among long-term marijuana users. Otherwise, scores on thinking tests were similar to those who dont smoke marijuana, according to a new analysis of 15 previous studies.
In those studies, some 700 regular marijuana users were compared with 484 non-users on various aspects of brain function including reaction time, language and motor skills, reasoning ability, memory, and the ability to learn new information.
Most Cases Of Cannabis
The good news for parents worried about their college students using marijuana is that cases of this type of psychosis are generally short-lived. Studies investigating cannabis-induced psychosis have most people affected see their symptoms resolve in a matter of just a few days. The symptoms generally do not recur later and resolve once the drug is out of the body.
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Regular Marijuana Use May Increase Your Risk For Schizophrenia Or Other Mental Illness
You may be more at risk of developing schizophrenia if you use marijuana habitually. One 2017 study looked at marijuana use and the risk of developing schizophrenia and found marijuana users had a 1.37 times increased risk for developing the condition than those who did not use the drug.
Can Marijuana Use Cause Psychosis
A report released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine presented evidence that people who use large amounts of marijuana frequently are more likely to trigger psychotic symptoms. If someone has an underlying or diagnosed mental health disorder and a co-occurring marijuana use disorder, they risk worsening the symptoms of the disorder.
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All About Marijuana And Brain Health: The Good And The Bad
Lets start by covering the basics. Most of us know by now that marijuana is a plant that occurs naturally. It is actually a plant known as cannabis. As is the case with most plants, cannabis can come in a couple of different types. The two main types of cannabis are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis sativa L.
Cannabis sativa L is the non-psychotropic, or non-mind altering, type. It is most commonly used in the materials industry. It can be used to produce oils, materials for clothes, rope, and much more. Its commonly referred to as hemp. More now than ever before, it can also be found within a variety of beauty products like lotions and shampoos. Some crafting kits even boast the inclusion of hemp string for friendship bracelets.
Part of this major uptick in the use of hemp is due to its small environmental impact compared to most synthetic materials. This actually is part of what draws people to using marijuana as well for things like anxiety or pain instead of pharmaceutical options.
The Link Between Cannabis And Psychosis
The past few years have led to the development of a plausible model in which schizophrenia is viewed as the consequence of a number of component causes, such as genes or early environmental hazards that subtly alter subsequent neurodevelopment. A recent study shows that the incidence of psychosis in cannabis exposed and non exposed population is 31 and 20%, respectively. Cannabis exposure may be a component cause which interacts with other factors that may be a possible cause of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, but is neither necessary nor sufficient to do so alone. Nevertheless, in the absence of the known causes of schizophrenia, the role of component causes remains important. The current focus of investigation is to find out pathways of neurobiological changes due to cannabis, which might be involved in the development of psychosis. The hope is that, if these changes are reversible, possible risk of severity may be minimized and treatment outcome in psychotic disorders may be improved.
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Lsd And Schizophrenia: Does Acid Cause Mental Illness
Some would argue that LSD and schizophrenia are closely related. Some would go as to far as to say that frequent usage of LSD or acid can actually cause a person to develop schizophrenia. LSD or LSD-25 is known to have profound psychological effects that include: altered thinking, hallucinations, altered sense of time, and spiritual experiences.
Most people who use LSD use it on a recreational basis as a means of experimentation. The substance itself is not known to cause any brain damage and has a pretty low addiction potential. Although LSDs profile seems pretty safe, certain users react with paranoia, delusions, and psychotic features.