Text Size

Daily Marijuana Smoking Linked to Psychosis

posted 05:47 AM EST, Mon December 21, 2009
-- filed under: | | |
Daily Marijuana Smoking Linked to Psychosis © Photo Credit: Incurable_hippie

Marijuana is a known risk factor for the development of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. However, Emory University researchers say that it’s not whether or not a person uses marijuana, but rather how quickly an adolescent user progresses to daily marijuana use that’s most important as a predictor for psychosis.

Emory University researchers examined data from 109 patients admitted to hospital for a first episode of psychosis to investigate the link between marijuana smoking and the progression towards psychosis.

Previous researchers have demonstrated that marijuana use accelerates the age of first psychotic episode, but after a meta analysis of the data, the Emory researchers found that it wasn’t so much whether a person used marijuana but rather how quickly a casual marijuana user progressed to daily smoking that best predicted age of psychotic onset.

Teens predestined for psychosis who become heavy marijuana smokers succumb to full–blown psychotic illness at a much younger age than teens who don’t become heavy marijuana users.

The researchers also found that teen girls who progressed to daily marijuana use were particularly at risk for an accelerated age of psychotic onset.

The researchers say that it isn’t likely that heavy marijuana is causing the development of psychosis, only accelerating it. Emory professor, Dr. Michael T. Compton explained, saying, “For someone who has a hidden genetic risk for developing schizophrenia, using marijuana—especially heavy use that escalates to a daily basis—may cause an earlier onset. This is problematic, because the earlier the disease starts, the poorer the outcome is, on average.”

In addition to looking at how marijuana quickens age of onset, the Emory researchers were also looking to learn more about the progression to the prodromal period, which is a period prior to the onset of full psychosis, during which a person experiences odd sensory experiences. The prodromal period can occur months or even years prior to the onset of full psychosis and it is thought to be an important stage for intervention and prevention.

The full study findings can be read in the November edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Helpful Information
70 Reasons to Quit a Heavy Marijuana Habit
70 Reasons Why Life is Better without a Heavy Marijuana Habit © Bingbing
Thinking about giving up marijuana but not sure you’re ready to take the plunge? Well, here are 70 benefits of quitting – all first-hand accounts from previously heavy users about how life changes for the better once you don’t need to get high all the time. Read Article
Addictions April 20, 2012 (491)
Marijuana Detox: Coping with Withdrawal Symptoms How to get past the first 2 weeks of marijuana withdrawal symptoms. Learn what to expect from marijuana withdrawal, with tips and suggestions for coping with individual withdrawal symptoms. Read Article
Detox November 20, 2015 (328)
15 Signs of Marijuana Use (for Parents) Is your son or daughter smoking marijuana? Learn the signs of marijuana use and be ready to spot a problem before it gets out of hand. Read Article
Teenagers June 19, 2014 (138)
Like Our Site? Follow Us!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.