Facts & Risks
Psychosis is a mental health condition that occurs when an individual begins to lose touch with reality and experience hallucinations and delusions.
Today’s high potency marijuana can trigger psychotic symptoms. This is referred to as “marijuana induced psychosis.” According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) people who use large amounts of marijuana frequently are more likely to trigger psychotic symptoms.
If someone has an underlying or diagnosed mental health disorder and a co-occurring marijuana use disorder, they risk worsening the symptoms of the disorder. NASEM warns against the dangers of marijuana use, especially in adolescence. Evidence shows that “first episode psychosis” can be triggered by heavy marijuana use, prolonged length of exposure and early age of onset. Find out more information on “first episode psychosis” here.
Symptoms of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, can be worsened with heavy and prolonged marijuana use. Individuals who have a predisposition for schizophrenia who use marijuana are 7 times more likely to have an onset of the mental illness.
Help is available
Steward Health Choice has funding for treatment of first episode psychosis. For more information on treatment options call 1-877-756-4090.
Scientific Studies and Facts
More and more scientific studies are being conducted to show the true risks and harms of marijuana and the risk for psychosis. Below are multiple studies, articles and individual stories that verify these risks.
Marijuana-Induced Psychosis and More
- Psychiatric Times: An Overview of Cannabis Use in Pregnancy
American Psychiatric Association: Substance-Induced Psychosis Associated With Increased Risk of Schizophrenia, Meta-Analysis Finds
- The Lancet Psychiatry: Cannabinoids for the treatment of mental disorders and symptoms of mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- JAMA Psychiatry: Association Between Recreational Marijuana Legalization in the United States and Changes in Marijuana Use and Cannabis Use Disorder From 2008 to 2016
- American Journal of Psychiatry: A Population-Based Analysis of the Relationship Between Substance Use and Adolescent Cognitive Development
- Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area: The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact
- Society for the Study of Addiction:
- SAMHSA: Know the Risks of Marijuana
- Journal of Addiction Medicine: Opioid and Cannabis Co-Use among Adults with Chronic Pain
- Annals of Internal Medicine: Acute Illness Associated With Cannabis Use, by Route of Exposure
- The Lancet Psychiatry: The contribution of cannabis use to variation in the incidence of psychotic disorder across Europe
- Child Mind Institute: Marijuana and Psychosis
- Psychiatric Times: Cannabis-Induced Psychosis: A Review
- JAMA Pediatrics: Acute Mental Health Symptoms in Adolescent Marijuana Users
- JAMA Psychiatry: Association of Cannabis Use With Adolescent Psychotic Symptoms
- Psychology Today: Marijuana and Psychosis – New research in adolescents and the effect of marijuana
- World Psychiatric Association: Traditional marijuana, high‐potency cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids: increasing risk for psychosis
- Psychology Today: Acute Marijuana-Induced Psychosis May Predict Future Illness
- ScienceDirect: Cannabis use associated with an increased risk of both psychotic symptoms and schizophrenia-like psychoses
- National Academies of Sciences: The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
- Surgeon General’s Report Highlights Dangers of Marijuana Use
- ASU Now: Regular teenage pot use may significantly increase the risk of paranoia, hallucinations
- The Journal of NeuroScience: Teen Brain Volume Changes with Small Amount of Cannabis Use
- View archived articles >>
- USA Today: As marijuana-induced psychosis rises, parents say treatment for young people hard to find
- USA Today: The true cost of cannabis: Why don’t its illnesses, deaths command media headlines?
- USA Today: Is marijuana linked to psychosis, schizophrenia? It’s contentious, but doctors, feds say yes
- Psychiatric News ALERT: Cannabinoids for Psychiatric Disorders? Evidence of Effectiveness is Lacking, Report Concludes
- CNN.com: Using weed regularly raises the risk of heart problems for young people, studies find
- Healthline: After Legalization, Marijuana Addiction Is on the Rise
- Forbes: Reasons Marijuana Legalization Seems To Be Failing
- unherd.com: I have seen the damage cannabis does
- FDA: FDA, FTC warn company marketing unapproved cannabidiol products with unsubstantiated claims to treat teething and ear pain in infants, autism, ADHD, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
- NBC News: Marijuana worse for teen brains than alcohol, study finds
- Washington Post: The Health 202: Vaping illnesses sparked the e-cig crackdown. But marijuana is likely to blame.
- The Star (Canada): Cannabis use by young people may be tied to depression and anxiety, CAMH study finds
- Washington Post: Potent pot, vulnerable teens trigger concerns in first states to legalize marijuana
- NightSide with Dan Rea: The Hidden Dangers in Marijuana (radio)
- MA Prevention Alliance: Statement of Concern on Marijuana Policy in Massachusetts
- Smart Approaches to Marijuana: New Study Highlights Skyrocketing ER Visits in Colorado
- Vermont Public Radio: Marijuana’s Effects On the Developing Brain
- Wall Street Journal: Weeding Out Dubious Marijuana Science
- Smart Approaches to Marijuana: New Study Shows Marijuana Use in Conjunction with Opioids Offers More Harms; No Benefit
- Smart Approaches to Marijuana: Groundbreaking New UK Study Confirms Link Between Daily, High Potency Marijuana Use and Psychosis
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Marijuana Legalization
- The New York Times: What Advocates of Legalizing Pot Don’t Want You to Know
- The Arizona Republic: Telling teenagers to “just say no” isn’t enough
- MotherJones.com: This Reporter Took a Deep Look Into the Science of Smoking Pot. What He Found Is Scary
- View archived articles >>