Can Smoking Cannabis Cause Psychosis? – Our Guide
Psychosis is a condition where someone becomes detached from reality, since cannabis has been linked with other mental health problems, many people wonder if this drug could cause psychosis too.
Cannabis-induced psychosis can happen, this condition occurs shortly after or during cannabis smoking and can trigger delusions, hallucinations and behavioural changes.
In our guide below, we will take you through the symptoms of cannabis psychosis, factors affecting if you will get cannabis psychosis, how to treat it and the link between marijuana and other mental health problems.
Symptoms Of Cannabis Psychosis
As we mentioned above, psychosis is defined as being detached from reality, depending on the stage of psychosis some symptoms might be more prominent than others.
It should be noted that cannabis psychosis is not a mental health disorder but is more a state which can be triggered by drugs or mental health problems.
We’ve listed some symptoms of cannabis psychosis below.
- Chaotic thoughts – Organised thoughts make it difficult to think straight during a marijuana-induced psychosis.
- Delusions – These are beliefs that are false when there is clear evidence that the person’s beliefs are wrong, this can lead them to think suspicions which are not true.
- Hallucinations – Hallucinations are defined as sensations which are not real that a person believes they are experiencing. They could be to do with touch/smell or hearing things.
- Behavioral changes – In an episode of psychosis people can have odd behaviour, this could be by overreacting to things or becoming very flat with no emotional reaction at all.
- Disassociation – Disassociation can make you feel like you’re outside your own body and believe that things around them are not real.
Does Persistent Marijuana Consumption Cause Psychosis?
Marijuana and psychosis episodes can be linked, especially if someone is smoking high-potency marijuana or chronic marijuana use.
However, there are some pre-symptoms which can make cannabis-induced psychosis more likely.
- Lack of emotional response.
Factors Affecting Cannabis Psychosis
Cannabis-induced psychosis is more likely in some people than others depending on the following factors below.
THC which is what produces the high in cannabis has a direct link to psychosis, the higher the strength of the THC then the higher the risk of psychosis episodes developing.
Young adults who use marijuana often between the ages of 16-21 and long-term or more at risk of psychosis developing and potential for marijuana addiction.
Marijuana in adolescence can make you more at risk of getting an episode of psychosis or even getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia at a later age.
Genetics can have a huge role in people developing marijuana use disorder and psychosis, people who have the certain variant (C/C) of the AKT1 gene are seven times more likely to get symptoms of psychosis and substance use disorders.
How To Treat Cannabis Psychosis
Although cannabis psychosis can be very serious, causing life-threatening symptoms such as reckless driving or high jumping, this state is treatable once recognised.
We’ve listed some ways to stop and treat characteristics of psychosis below –
- Stop cannabis use – Some people’s psychosis stops if they stop cannabis use altogether, with symptoms improving in as little as a week.
- Use anti-psychotic medications – If the person cannot stop using cannabis then might benefit from using antipsychotic medications.
Can Smoking Cannabis Cause Other Mental Health Problems?
Apart from psychosis, cannabis has been linked to many other mental health problems, especially when consumed excessively.
- Addiction – Although not a mental health disorder, addiction can take a big toll on your everyday life and make you dependent, this can cause you to withdraw from others and experience relationship breakdowns.
- Depression – Cannabis might make you feel better in the short term but can contribute to depression in the long term.
- Anxiety – Anxiety and panic attacks can be a common unwanted side effect of cannabis, some people take cannabis in order to try and help their anxiety and can often be left dependent.
- Bi-polar disorder – Bi-polar is also a psychotic disorder which can be triggered by marijuana, especially if you are more likely to get this illness due to genetics.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabis And Psychosis
How many people get psychosis from cannabis?
Around 50% of people with psychosis get it from cannabis, however, the amount of people who contract it due to cannabis consumption is low since it depends on lots of other factors.
How can you get out of psychosis?
You can treat psychosis by stopping marijuana consumption, psychological therapy and some medications.
Can you recover from psychosis entirely?
This depends on the individual, for some people it can take several months to heal while for others you can feel better in as little as a few weeks.
What are the three stages of psychosis?
The three stages of psychosis are the prodromal phase, the acute phase and the recovery phase.
What happens if psychosis is left untreated?
If psychosis is left untreated it can cause injuries, illness and even death in some cases.
What are the negative side effects of cannabis?
Although recent studies are highlighting the benefits of using cannabis, there are lots of negative side effects to be aware of, some to name are; interference with brain development, the likelihood of depression, risk of memory loss, lung problems and more.
Is THC bad for you?
THC is the mind-altering part of cannabis and is linked mostly to mental health issues.
Could CBD help with mental health disorders?
In some cases, taking CBD might help mental health disorders such as schizophrenia due to its calming effects on the body.
To conclude, cannabis psychosis is psychosis triggered by cannabis use, it is more prevalent in long-term users, young users and people with certain genes.
In order to treat psychosis you would have to stop the use or use medications to draw yourself out of it.