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The study, by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London, is due to be published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry later this week.
They studied almost 800 working-age adults from one area of south London, half of whom had been recently treated for a psychotic episode for the first time.
The incidence of schizophrenia in the area has doubled since the mid-Sixties, a trend widely thought to be linked to drug use.
Cannabis use in the UK overall has fallen by about 40 per cent in the past decade but, for those using it, the typical potency has increased sharply in that time.
“Compared with those who never used cannabis, individuals who mostly used skunk-like cannabis were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder if they used it less than once per week, almost three times as likely if they used it at weekends, and more than five times as likely if they were daily users,” the paper notes.
It found that skunk use was the “strongest predictor” of psychotic illness in those studied and that 24 per cent of new cases in the area could be attributed to skunk.
It also noted that those who started smoking cannabis before the age of 15 had higher risk of developing psychotic disorders than others.
Prof Sir Robin Murray, professor of psychiatric research at King’s, said: “It is now well known that use of cannabis increases the risk of psychosis. However, sceptics still claim that this is not an important cause of schizophrenia-like psychosis.
“This paper suggests that we could prevent almost one quarter of cases of psychosis if no-one smoked high potency cannabis.”
He added: “Education is the important thing – people need to know the risks of regular use of high potency cannabis.
Mr Grayling said: “Far too many of those who end up in our criminal justice system have got drug and mental health problems.
“It’s clear to me that drug addiction is at the root of a large proportion of crimes in the UK and that it causes mental health problems which are all too apparent in our prisons.
“That’s why mental health will be our next big reform focus – but it’s also why decriminalisation is not the right option.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “Our approach remains clear: we must prevent drug use in our communities and help dependent individuals through treatment and recovery, while ensuring law enforcement protects society by stopping supply and tackling the organised crime that is associated with the drugs trade.”
originally posted by: MystikMushroom
I don't care how positive your vibes are, just mind your own business ...
You could say, "mind your business" -- as cannabis will make a few people very, very wealthy. If I had money to invest, I'd be looking into the front runners of this new emerging market to retire on.
The results appear to confirm a link between psychosis and skunk cannabis, which now accounts for 80 per cent of street seizures of the drug.
Scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry in King's College London made the discovery after running tests on 22 healthy men, aged in their late 20s.
They injected them with THC - a major component of skunk cannabis which has been blamed for increasing psychosis among heavy users.
By giving a dummy injection to some, and a dose of THC to others, the scientists were able to establish a link between THC and psychosis, in which hallucinations and delusions leave sufferers unable to tell between the real and imagined.
The team, led by Dr Paul Morrison, concluded: "These findings confirm that THC can induce a transient acute psychological reaction in psychiatrically well individuals."
The researchers found that the "extent of psychotic reaction" was not related to "the degree of anxiety or congnitive impairment" in the men.
Aims Aims To examine critically the evidence
that cannabis causes psychosis using
established criteria of causality. established criteria of causality.
We identified five studies that
included a well-defined sample drawn included a well-defined sample drawn
from population-based registers or from population-based registers or
cohorts and used prospective measures of cohorts and used prospective measures of
cannabis use and adult psychosis. cannabis use and adult psychosis.
On an individual level, cannabis On an individual level, cannabis
use confers an overall twofold increase in
the relative risk for later schizophrenia. At the relative risk for later schizophrenia. At
the population level, elimination of
cannabis use would reduce the incidence of cannabis use would reduce the incidence of
schizophrenia by approximately 8%,
assuming a causal relationship. Cannabis
use appears to be neither a sufficient nor a
necessary cause for psychosis. It is a necessary cause for psychosis.
It is a component cause, part of a complex
constellation of factors leading to constellation of factors leading to
Conclusions Cases of psychotic
disorder could be prevented by disorder could be prevented by
discouraging cannabis use among discouraging cannabis use among
Research is needed to understand the mechanisms by which understand the mechanisms by which
cannabis causes psychosis. cannabis causes psychosis.
Declaration of interest Declaration of interest L.A. is
supported by the Canadian Institute of
Health Research;M.C. is supported by the Health Research;M.C. is supported by the
WellcomeTrust and the EJLB Foundation.
I feel that once cannabis prohibition falls, we will see an increase in the use of designer drugs.
Therefore, any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijauana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from posessing firearms or ammunition.
originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
a reply to: Yeahkeepwatchingme
It is however, a rather disturbing and potent ''negative'' aspect that people should be aware of and educated on.
Informed is better than uninformed, especially when it is something as major as psychosis.
Wouldn't you agree?
originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
This report is in The Telegraph today.
Super strong cannabis responsible for quarter of new psychosis cases
Risk of developing psychosis up to five times greater for those who smoke 'skunk' cannabis every day
Experts have said that cannabis is far from being a “safe” drug and no one under the age of 30 should ever use it
One in four new cases of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia could be the direct result of smoking extra-strong varieties of cannabis, a major new study concludes.
The finding suggests that about 60,000 people in Britain are currently living with conditions involving hallucinations and paranoid episodes brought on by abuse of high-potency cannabis, known as skunk, and more than 300,000 people who have smoked skunk will experience such problems in their lifetime.
The six-year study, the first of its kind in Britain, calculates that daily users of skunk are five times more likely to suffer psychosis than those who never touch it.
Psychiatrists said there is now an “urgent need” for a drive to educate the public about the risks involved with the substance. It is believed that even newer varieties, some of them more than twice as potent as those currently available on British streets, have already been developed in the Netherlands.