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Pot And Psychosis: Study Finds Link Can Go Both Ways In Teens

Pot And Psychosis Link Can Go Both Ways In Teens

Pot and psychosis can go both ways in teenagers, a new study has found. According to a study at Leiden University in the Netherlands, using pot may cause psychotic symptoms, but psychosis in teens can also be linked to later pot use.

In an email to Reuters Health, lead author of the study Merel Griffith-Lendering wrote:

“We have focused mainly on temporal order; is it the chicken or the egg? As the study shows, [the link between pot and psychosis] is a bidirectional relationship.”

Although different research recently concluded that psychosis is an effect of smoking pot, some scientists questioned whether people were also using pot to ease psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Dr. Gregory Seeger, medical director for addiction services at Rochester General Hospital in New York, told Reuters Health:

“What is interesting in this study is that both processes are going on at the same time.”

Seeger said that researchers were especially intrigued by the effect tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active property in pot, would have on the developing brain of a teenager. He added that those with more cases of schizophrenia and psychosis in their family history were more sensitive to the toxic effects of THC.

The Leiden University study was attempting to discover whether pot or psychosis came first. A total of 2,120 Dutch teenagers were surveyed for the study and asked questions about their pot use when aged 14, 16, and 19 years old. The same teens also underwent psychosis vulnerability tests that analyzed their ability to concentrate, their feelings of loneliness, and whether they hallucinate.

Using this data, Griffith-Lendering and her team found that 940 teens, or around 44 percent, reported smoking pot and that there was a bidirectional link between using pot and psychosis.

However, the study could not prove beyond doubt that one is caused by the other. Griffith-Lendering believes that genetics may also play a role in forming the link:

“We can say for some people that cannabis comes first and psychosis comes second, but for some people they have some (undiagnosed) psychosis (and) perhaps cannabis makes them feel better.”

[Image via Shutterstock]

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5 Responses to “Pot And Psychosis: Study Finds Link Can Go Both Ways In Teens”

  1. Alvin Reid

    We can talk about the effects of marijuanaf for ages and probably come up with the same results. We are not all the same, therefore the effects are different. I agree with the testers' statement that personalities come into play. Lets face it, we don't all have the same mind when we get high on marijuana. For some it mellows and for some it opens the flood gates and out comes who knows what. Just being real.

  2. Jeremy Fisher

    The thing here is that there doesn't seem to be any psychosis testing involved. It is of interest first due to a desire to discover negative effects of drugs. Second, due to a statistical likelihood of marijuana use being a factor. Third, this test is looking at "clues" that may lead to psychosis or may not. If you look at the nature of these "maybe this person is susceptible to psychosis" clues, most of them are quite innocuous. If I or anyone I knew was hallucinating that could be a concern, the others – not so much. So, there is a bi-directional link, but not with psychosis. There is a bi-directional link with a range of factors that may or may not lead to psychosis. So you have a likelihood that these pre-psychotic indicators were pre-existing or stemming from non-cannabis causative factors, you also have an overwhelming likelihood that none of these factors will ever lead to psychosis or any other mental illness. Of course, I am not saying there is no risk, just that the way these tests and links are tested and measured is quite difficult. Like I have said previously, these things take a serious of subjective tests, put them together, average it out, ignore other details from the patients/peoples lives, and then pretend that the result is objective.

  3. Anonymous

    Thanks for the highly informative article Yahoo! Do you ever wonder why the only advertising you get is for "this one 'weird' fact"? The article doesn't really say much, has no conclusion and was written poorly. More fluff from yahoo – long on hype, short on content. Whoopee!

  4. Muzzy Lu

    Maybe teens who have some psychosis are self medicating with cannabis. I guess it is much better to drink until you pass out like other teens! Great $2.99 e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA – Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints. goo.gl/iYjPn goo.gl/Jfs61.