Since more than half of U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, many people view it as a safe and beneficial substance. Unfortunately, the higher-potency strains available today have complicated the issue by adding the risk of cannabis-induced psychosis.
Weed Psychosis – A Growing Concern
Recent studies have established a link between marijuana use and an increased risk of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. Notably, daily consumption of high-THC cannabis strains increases your risk of developing psychosis.
The connection between cannabis use and psychiatric disorders is particularly strong in people with specific genetic vulnerabilities. Drug use affects a gene variant that influences dopamine signaling in the brain. For those with this variant, the risk of psychosis is significantly higher among daily marijuana users compared to occasional or non-users.
What Is Psychosis?
Psychosis is a disconnection from reality, often manifesting with the following symptoms.
- Hallucinations: These can be visual, auditory or sensory, leading you to see things that aren’t there, hear voices or feel unusual sensations.
- Delusions: These are irrational beliefs, such as intense paranoia or grandiose ideas about your abilities or purpose.
Cannabis affects the brain by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, altering mood and motivation. Its frequent use can disrupt sleep, impair learning and coordination and lead to poor judgment. Notably, the younger someone starts using marijuana, the more susceptible they are to these adverse effects.
- Addiction: There’s a risk of becoming physically or psychologically dependent on high-THC marijuana, which can lead to experimentation with other substances like alcohol and illicit drugs.
- Brain changes: Regular cannabis use can reduce the volume of brain regions involved in memory and impulse control.
- Withdrawal symptoms: You may experience irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbances, reduced appetite, cravings and restlessness when trying to quit or taper off.
The Long-Term Impact
While researchers still have much to learn about THC’s long-term effects on the human brain, evidence from animal studies suggests that marijuana can cause lasting or even permanent impairment, particularly in people who don’t necessarily show immediate psychotic symptoms.
Cannabis-induced psychosis highlights the need for caution and awareness regarding the use of high-potency marijuana, especially for young adults. At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we understand the complexities of cannabis use and its potential mental health implications. Our treatment approach relies on the latest medical research and addresses each client’s specific needs. If you use marijuana and experience adverse health effects, we are here to answer your call, help you start recovering and teach you to make informed decisions about your well-being.