Writing on Medscape, Dr. Michael Compton reviewed the effects of marijuana.
Here’s what we know.
It’s the most abused illicit substance in the US, and the most abused illegal drug among people with schizophrenia.
Furthermore, the initiation of cannabis use among those with psychotic disorders often precedes the onset of psychosis by several years.
Cannabis use in adolescence is an independent risk factor for psychosis and schizophrenia.
Cannabis use may interact with genetic factors to elevate risk for psychotic disorders.
Preliminary research suggests that cannabis use before the manifestation of psychiatric symptoms may be associated with an earlier age at onset of psychotic symptoms.
Increasing research suggests a potential association between cannabis use and thoughts, perceptions, communications, and behaviors suggestive of schizophrenia, or being prone to psychosis, in the general population.
The bottom line?
Dr. Compton concludes, “Ongoing neurobiologic research is revealing findings in the endocannabinoid system that appear to support the biologic plausibility of such links.”
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.