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
- Society for the Study of Addiction: The association between legalization of cannabis use and traffic deaths in Uruguay
- University of Michigan|Michigan News: Dramatic increases in vaping marijuana, nicotine among US college students, young adults
- National Library of Medicine: Associations of Maternal Prenatal Drug Abuse With Measures of Newborn Brain Structure, Tissue Organization, and Metabolite Concentrations
- National Library of Medicine: Cannabis use and the onset of cigarette and e-cigarette use: A prospective, longitudinal study among youth in the United States
- CDC: Characteristics of Marijuana Use During Pregnancy — Eight States, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2017
- EurekaAlert.org: Cannabis use in pregnancy linked to a greater risk of autism
- American Journal of Preventive Medicine: Marijuana Legalization and Youth Marijuana, Alcohol, and Cigarette Use and Norms
- Stanford Medicine: States allow misleading claims that cannabis can treat opioid addiction
- University of Colorado | Boulder: Marijuana use while pregnant boosts risk of children’s sleep problems
- MedicalXpress.com: Researchers identify more than 100 toxic chemicals in cannabis smoke
- National Library of Medicine: Haemoptysis (coughing up blood) Following Shallow Breath-Hold Diving in a Cannabis User
- National Library of Medicine: Cannabis Use and Its Association With Psychological Disorders
- National Library of Medicine: Measuring Individual Benefits of Psychiatric Treatment Using Longitudinal Binary Outcomes: Application to Antipsychotic Benefits in Non-Cannabis and Cannabis Users
- JAMA Psychiatry: Association of High-Potency Cannabis Use With Mental Health and Substance Use in Adolescence
- The Lancet Psychiatry: Psychiatric symptoms caused by cannabis constituents: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Smart Approaches to Marijuana: Two New Studies Add to Body of Evidence of Marijuana Commercialization’s Harms
- Smart Approaches to Marijuana: New Study Finds Majority of “Medical” Marijuana Too Potent to Be Useful for Pain
- Science Direct: Recreational cannabis use impairs driving performance in the absence of acute intoxication
- Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Consequences of alcohol and marijuana use among college students: Prevalence rates and attributions to substance-specific versus simultaneous use
- Psychiatric Times: An Overview of Cannabis Use in Pregnancy
- Child Mind Institute: Marijuana and Psychosis
- National Academies of Sciences: The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
- Surgeon General’s Report Highlights Dangers of Marijuana Use
- Smart Approaches to Marijuana: New CDC Study Reinforces Alarms Raised Over Pregnant Women and Marijuana Use in “Legal” Marijuana States
- Colorado Public Radio: ‘Everybody I Know And Hang Out With Vapes’: More Colorado Teens See The Danger In Vaping, But 1 In 4 Still Do It
- ColoradoPolitics.com: State’s pot trade is dangerously underregulated
- ColoradoPolitics.com: For our kids’ sake, rein in reckless pot peddlers
- Smart Approaches to Marijuana: New Colorado Data Show Youth Marijuana Use Increasing Since 2017
- Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota issues new alert over severe lung injuries tied to vaping
- Daily Chronicle: Cases of cannabis-induced psychosis increase during COVID-19 pandemic
- The Marijuana Report: A landmark study updates the risk of marijuana users having a cannabis use disorder
- The Sun: No study needed: Stoned drivers pose deadly threat
- Smart Approaches to Marijuana: New Report: California Regulations Fail to Protect Youth From Marijuana Industry
- AP News: Recreational pot laws may boost traffic deaths, studies say
- CNN: Today’s high potency weed raises risk of anxiety and addiction, study says
- 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
- unherd.com: I have seen the damage cannabis does
- NBC News: Marijuana worse for teen brains than alcohol, study finds
- The Star (Canada): Cannabis use by young people may be tied to depression and anxiety, CAMH study finds
- 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
- View archived articles