A new Danish study released this week shows that as many as 30% of schizophrenia cases among young men could have been prevented if they had avoided marijuana.
The study, released on May 4 by Cambridge University Press, says that the "association between cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia stronger in young males than in females."
The study examined over 6.9 million individuals which involved 45,327 cases of schizophrenia from 1972 to 2021. The study concluded that young males might be particularly susceptible to the effects of cannabis on schizophrenia.
Moreover, it concluded that at a population level (a large sample size), 20% of cases of schizophrenia among young males (16 to 25 years old) might be prevented by averting CUD.
Cannabis Use Disorder and Schizophrenia
WebMD says that a person with Cannabis Use Disorder (CAD) can't stop using pot even though it is hurting their life. One of those impacts could be schizophrenia. This is a mental illness that disconnects a person from reality and affects how they think, feel, and behave.
THC levels in cannabis have increased dramatically in the past decades, according to the study. THC may trigger and/or worsen schizophrenia, especially for those with a CUD or with regular and high THC use, the study says.
The reason is the incidence of CAD in the Danish population has increased three-to-four fold in the past two decades. That is associated with an associated with earlier onset of psychosis in the population, i.e., schizophrenia.
The prescription might be to avoid excessive use of cannabis - especially for young men, in order to prevent the onset of schizophrenia.
But of course, many pot users already know this or have seen this in their families. A 2019 article in Mother Jones magazine said as much:
" Over the past couple of decades, studies around the globe have found that THC—the active compound in cannabis—is strongly linked to psychosis, schizophrenia, and violence."
The article said that researchers had found that this recreational drug marketed as an all-around health product may, in fact, be really dangerous—especially for people with a family history of mental illness and for adolescents with developing brains.
The bottom line here seems to be simple - moderation is key. Overdoing it could lead to psychosis.
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