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Analysis: Incidences of Acute Cannabis-Induced Psychosis Are Uncommon

Lausanne, Switzerland: Cannabis consumption rarely triggers episodes of acute psychosis in those without a pre-existing psychiatric disorder, according to data published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

An international team of researchers from Australia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom assessed lifetime occurrences of “cannabis-associated psychotic symptoms” (CAPS) requiring hospitalization in a cohort of 233,000 European marijuana consumers.

Authors reported that less than one-half of one percent of subjects reported ever having had such an experience. Those at higher risk for such incidences included younger aged subjects, as well as those with a prior diagnosis of bipolar, anxiety, depressive disorder, or psychosis.

“Our findings are in line with the idea of a common (genetic) vulnerability representing risk that is shared across psychiatric disorders,” the authors determined. They concluded, “Rates of CAPS as observed here are comparable to rates of other drug-induced psychosis, such as alcohol-associated psychosis (around 0.4 – 0.7 percent).”

The study’s findings are consistent with those of a separate paper, published in July in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, which reported that medical cannabis patients are at “low” risk for psychiatric hospitalizations resulting from their marijuana use. In that trial, investigators assessed marijuana-related hospitalizations among a cohort of over 23,000 subjects over a median period of 240 days. During that time, only 26 patients were hospitalized explicitly because of “mental or behavioral disorders due to the use of cannabis.”

The findings push back against high-profile claims from some cannabis reform opponents that marijuana exposure is a frequent trigger for psychosis and other mental health disorders.

The full text of the study, “Rates and correlates of cannabis-associated psychotic symptoms in over 230,000 people who use cannabis,” appears in Translational Psychiatry. Additional information on cannabis and mental health is available from NORML’s white paper, ‘Cannabis, Mental Health, and Context: The Case for Regulation.’


Written by Ai and G. Taylor

Cannabis is a commonly used recreational drug that is typically smoked, although it can also be ingested in other ways. Although cannabis use is often considered safe, there is a small risk of developing acute psychosis, which is a short-term mental disorder that is characterized by symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. Although the incidence of acute cannabis-induced psychosis is relatively low, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with cannabis use.

Cannabis is a plant that contains a number of psychoactive compounds, the most notable of which is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound responsible for the majority of the effects that are associated with cannabis use, including the psychoactive effects. Cannabis can be smoked, ingested, or vaporized, and the THC content of the plant material can vary significantly. In general, the higher the THC content, the more potent the effects of the drug.

The short-term effects of cannabis use include relaxation, improved mood, and altered perception. These effects are typically mild and pleasant, and they typically last for several hours. In some cases, however, people may experience more severe effects, such as anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. In rare cases, cannabis use can trigger a psychotic episode that persists long after the drug has been cleared from the person's system.

A small number of people who use cannabis will experience an acute psychotic episode at some point in their lives. The incidence of acute psychosis is thought to be about 1% in the general population, but it may be higher in people who have a personal or family history of mental illness. People who have used cannabis heavily in the past are also at greater risk of developing psychosis.

Acute psychosis can be a frightening and distressing experience, but it is important to remember that it is usually temporary and treatable. If you experience psychosis, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible so that you can receive the treatment you need. In most cases, psychosis will resolve on its own with time and rest, but in some cases, it may be necessary to receive medication or other forms of treatment.

If you are concerned about the risks associated with cannabis use, it is important you join an educated community where people are being made whole. Far too often the hidden gem is right in our faces. We are all parts of a whole and a whole in parts. This is the starting ground for the holistic life that God has given You can also talk to your doctor or another healthcare provider. They can help you to understand the risks and benefits of using cannabis and can provide guidance on how to use it safely. ( disclaimer due to cannabis prohibition some doctors are not properly educated on the topic and or lack experience )


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