Cannabis psychosis, gender matters
There has been much research exploring the nature of the relationship between cannabis and psychosis, however the role of gender in relation to cannabis psychosis is less well explored and understood.
Department of Health Sciences' researchers Ian Hamilton, Paul Galdas and Holly Essex used large datasets over a period of 11 years to investigate the differences in men and women as they progress from exposure to cannabis through to developing cannabis psychosis.
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the United Kingdom. Trends in cannabis use suggest that twice as many males as females use the drug. This gender ratio is mirrored in rates of psychosis with males outnumbering females by 2:1. However there is a significant widening of this ratio for cannabis psychosis, where males outnumber females by four to one.
"The marked gender difference in rates of cannabis psychosis is puzzling," said Ian. "It is possible that mental health and specialist drug treatment services, which have a disproportionate number of men, are identifying and treating more males with combined mental health and cannabis problems.
"However it is also possible that women with cannabis psychosis are not being identified and offered treatment for the problems they develop.
"When it comes to cannabis psychosis gender does matter."