Is marijuana linked to psychosis, schizophrenia? Doctors say yes.

By December 15, 2019 Recent News

Is marijuana linked to psychosis, schizophrenia? It’s contentious, but doctors, feds say yes
USA Today 15 December 2019
Family First CommentThose sounding the alarm include the nation’s “mental health czar” as well as doctors in states including Colorado, California and Massachusetts where marijuana is legal for recreational use. They say the facts are irrefutable: excessive use of today’s high-THC pot and concentrated oil is linked to psychotic episodes that in some cases develop into full-blown schizophrenia.

“All you hear is all these proponents of legalization of pot without thought to the risks and the consequences.”

A number of physicians and parents want to see that change. They are pushing back against the long held assertion of users and advocates that marijuana is a safe, benign and even beneficial drug.

Those sounding the alarm include the nation’s “mental health czar” as well as doctors in states including Colorado, California and Massachusetts where marijuana is legal for recreational use. They say the facts are irrefutable: excessive use of today’s high-THC pot and concentrated oil is linked to psychotic episodes that in some cases develop into full-blown schizophrenia.

There is great disagreement, however, over the strength of the science linking pot and psychosis. Advocates on either side of the marijuana debate have different interpretations of the connection reported in a National Academies 2017 report on cannabis and other studies. One from the British medical journal the Lancet released in March showed a two to five times higher risk of psychotic disorders for daily consumers of high-THC marijuana compared to people who never used.

Those sounding the alarm include the nation’s “mental health czar” as well as doctors in states including Colorado, California and Massachusetts where marijuana is legal for recreational use. They say the facts are irrefutable: excessive use of today’s high-THC pot and concentrated oil is linked to psychotic episodes that in some cases develop into full-blown schizophrenia.

There is great disagreement, however, over the strength of the science linking pot and psychosis. Advocates on either side of the marijuana debate have different interpretations of the connection reported in a National Academies 2017 report on cannabis and other studies. One from the British medical journal the Lancet released in March showed a two to five times higher risk of psychotic disorders for daily consumers of high-THC marijuana compared to people who never used.

The federal government and other health officials, however, say the type of psychosis McIntosh experienced and other psychiatric disorders are clearly tied to the drug.

“It is time for Americans to understand there are substantial risks with marijuana,” said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, the Department of Health and Human Services’ top mental health official. “This is not the government making up data.”

When Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams included the link between cannabis and psychosis in his August advisory on marijuana’s effect on the “developing brain,” he was trashed and threatened on Twitter. Alex Berenson, a former New York Times business reporter who authored this year’s book, “Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence,” also was widely condemned for his warnings of the drug’s dangers.

Still, McCance-Katz said it was not a difficult decision at HHS to include the link between marijuana and psychosis in the Surgeon General advisory.

“This has been settled science,” she said. “This is something that has been known for many years, yet there has been virtually no attention paid to it.”
READ MORE: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/12/15/weed-psychosis-high-thc-cause-suicide-schizophrenia/4168315002/
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