About marijuana, there are many opinions of ordinary citizens, experts and of course people who have used it lightly or intensely. Recently, specialists endorsed that specific cannabis is capable of generating a psychotic illusion in people who use the drug.
It may sound contradictory perhaps, since the Costa Rican Congress is debating a law “file 21,388”: production of cannabis for therapeutic use and hemp for industrial use. Well, there are diverse opinions of experts that today, consider marijuana as capable of unleashing a psychotic break.
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Specialists on the matter from the United States, including Dr. Itai Danovitch, president of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, have emphasized that the greater the push for legalization of marijuana, the more people go to emergency departments. These patients present psychotic symptoms after consuming marijuana in excess.
If there is a family history, the situation may be worse
Experts clarify that some unfortunate people with a family history of mental illness could end up with a psychotic disorder that will require extensive treatment. This situation is for a minority of people but if it develops it can be not pleasant at all.
“It would seem premature at best and sensational at worst to believe that there is a strong causal relationship between cannabis exposure and psychiatric disorders,” said Danovitch.
A study published in the British journal The Lancet shows that the daily use of marijuana could increase the risk of a first psychotic episode between three and five times, depending on its potency. The research reported, that in the three places with the highest use of high-potency cannabis, they were associated with a high number in the odds of a psychotic disorder. Four times greater in Paris, five times greater in London, and more than nine times greater in Amsterdam.
According to Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant chief of the psychiatry unit at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, what he considers to be “transient psychosis” has increased with the increasing potency of new strains of marijuana. “If you don’t regulate yourself, you could get high really fast without even realizing it,” he said.
If a person is very vulnerable to mental illness, it is likely that if they consume too much marijuana, they will suffer a long-lasting psychosis. In this regard, the English Journal of Psychiatry recently reported that the risk of schizophrenia after a substance-induced psychosis is around 11%, the strongest association among vulnerable marijuana users. If people have a family history of serious mental illness, their risk may actually be different than that of their peers.
The reality is that everything in excess is harmful, that there is truth in the matter, what has been stated by certified experts, and should be taken seriously and also that it would be better to maintain an awareness and regulation of the plant.