Cannabis use and the increased risk of psychosis: The debate continues

January 11, 2013

The scientific community have long debated the causal relationship between cannabis use and the risk factor for psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. Both sides of this controversial subject are put forward in two articles published today in F1000 Medicine Reports. To give rise to the debate, the authors of each article were given the opportunity to read the opposing side's article drafts and consider their arguments when structuring their own article.

In his article "Cannabis and psychosis: what causes what?" David Castle of the University of Melbourne argues for a causal link between cannabis use and an increased risk of . He does, however, concede that very few cases of schizophrenia would be prevented by a global abolition of cannabis, an argument put forward by Suzanne Gage, Stan Zammit and Matt Hickman of the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff in their article entitled "Stronger evidence is needed before accepting that cannabis plays an important role in the aetiology of schizophrenia in the population."

Gage et al argue that whilst acute psychotic experiences can be linked to cannabis use, the nature of the connection to schizophrenia inevitably remains much less certain. They argue that more robust evidence is required to determine whether preventing cannabis use will have any substantial impact on preventing in the population, or within specific high-risk subgroups.

In their conclusions, both sides agree that cannabis is a public health concern and that the public should be made fully aware of the risks associated with using the drug. Castle states that this particularly applies to those who have a family history of or who have experienced -like symptoms, as they may be at greater risk.

Explore further: Cannabis use mimics cognitive weakness that can lead to schizophrenia

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Roland
not rated yet Jan 11, 2013
"WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) (wn) psychosis n 1: any severe mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted"

The only psychosis I see is 'Project SAM'. http://xfinity.co...A/print/

Patrick Kennedy doesn't want legalization, but he says he also doesn't want people thrown in prison. What does he think the law does to people? I guess his admitted addiction to Oxycontin and alcohol burned out a few brain cells.
moebiex
not rated yet Jan 11, 2013
the big problem as I see it is the uncontrolled dosages. That and the other crap it is cut with- but both those issues could be better controlled through regulation if the whole supply chain had not been surrendered to underground elements interested only in getting more money at whatever cost or setting users up for further/greater exploitation. Of course the ideologues pushing for criminalization of such personal choices are no less guilty of exploiting the issue. I expect it runs to the tune of 10's if not 100's of billions of $$ per year in enforcement, incarceration, lawyer etc - and still growing every year. What's that old saw about banging your head repeatedly against the wall to no effect- it just says your crazy.

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