Can Cannabis Use Lead to Psychosis?Heidi Trow
According to a 2016 study, hospitalizations due to psychiatric issues have risen 74% since 2016, when police began cracking down on recreational cannabis use. The same data showed that hospitalizations for mental health or behavioral issues linked to marijuana consumption rose 74% in 2021. Psychiatric stays attributed to cannabis use increased 18% between the 2019 and 2020 years. But what does this data mean for someone who uses cannabis?
The Effects of Regular Cannabis Use
Despite what the cannabis industry would like you to believe, marijuana use can lead to dependency on the substance. Dependence on the substance is similar to other substance use disorders, such as alcohol use, smoking, and other drug addictions. Those who struggle with marijuana use disorder are likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal if they attempt to stop using the substance which leads to a number of physical and mental side effects.
Aside from the symptoms of dependence, the increase in psychiatric hospitalizations for cannabis use is rising at an alarming rate.
What is a Psychiatric Hospitalization?
When someone is hospitalized for a psychiatric condition, this could be due to a number of factors that are affecting a person’s ability to function successfully in society. This can range from a person exhibiting severe depression to someone experiencing symptoms of psychosis.
Psychosis can be a terrifying experience for a person and the loved ones who surround this person.
Patients exhibiting symptoms of psychosis could experience any one or more of the following:
- Hallucinations (seeing things that are not present in reality)
- Delusions (hearing sounds or voices that are not present in reality)
- Paranoia (belief that they are being watched, followed, etc.)
- Intrusive thoughts
- Difficulty thinking clearly
The Link Between Psychosis and Cannabis Use
The number of cannabis-related psychiatric hospitalizations are both linked to symptoms of dependence as well as psychosis. Typically, those who experience symptoms of psychosis linked to cannabis use will show signs within the first three to four years. This can be detrimental to a person’s long-term well-being as later stages of psychosis, such as diagnosed schizophrenia, can only be managed with medication and intensive levels of care.
The legalization of cannabis has led to an increase in recreational use and can increase the likelihood of someone exhibiting symptoms of psychosis. Harvard Medical School studied psychosis patients and found that 47% of those hospitalized were either currently or had previously been dependent on the drug.
There is Help for Cannabis Use
These numbers can feel staggering, especially if your teenage child uses cannabis regularly. Despite the legalization of this drug in many states, there are still a number of dangers related to regular use. Strains of the drug have become stronger, and levels of dependence continue to rise. This presents additional concerns for parents of teenagers who smoke, vape, or otherwise consume marijuana products. With a link between cannabis use and symptoms of psychosis, there is no better time than now to get help for cannabis use.
Our team at R&A Therapeutic Partners are here to help you or your loved one every step of the way. From intervention services to substance use evaluations and personalized psychotherapy, we will walk alongside you as you navigate the challenges of addiction. If you or your loved one are concerned about cannabis dependence or psychosis, contact our team today.
At R&A Therapeutic Partners Raymond Estefania and Ana Moreno specialize in substance use and mental health disorder evaluations, treatment, intervention and therapeutic/educational consulting for clients throughout the greater South Florida area, as well as nationally and internationally. For more resources and information please visit Therapeutic-Partners.com or on Facebook.