Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Monday, 16 February 2015

Strong Cannabis Triples Your Risk Of Psychosis, Says New Research

The Debrief: Bad news for the serious weed smokers out there...

According to new reports by King’s College London, smoking particularly strong weed has been linked to nearly a quarter of new psychosis cases - and that the risk of psychosis is three times higher for ‘skunk like’ weed smokers than non-smokers. 

Psychosis, in case you’re not aware, involves the delusions or hallucinations that those suffering certain psychiatric illnesses - such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder - suffer from. 

Compared to people who don’t smoke strong weed, those who smoke it every day were also five times more at risk - but those who smoke hash, the weaker form of cannabis, weren’t at risk. 

‘Drugs such as cannabis are illegal because scientific and medical evidence demonstrates they are harmful,’ a Home Office spokesman told BBC news. 'This report serves to emphasise how they can destroy lives and communities. There are positive signs out drug strategy is working - people going into treatment today are more likely to recover now than in 2010.’ 

If you’re wondering WTF skunk is, and whether you’re smoking it - you’d know. It contains a lot more THC, a psychoactive ingredient that has a much, much stronger effect than your usual ‘just getting a bit stoned mate’. Hash, or the cannabis resin that most casual weed smokers use, has another chemical that counteracts the THC called CBD and works as an antidote to the potentially damaging effects of the hallucinogenic. 

'This paper suggests that we could prevent almost one quarter of cases of psychosis if no one smoked high-potency cannabis. This could save young patients a lot of suffering, and the NHS a lot of money,’ said Sir. Robin Murray, a professor of psychiatric research at KCL. 

The director of alcohol drugs and tobacco at Public Health England, Rosanna O’Connor, added: ‘No drug use is without risk as this report demonstrates - anyone having problems with drug use should seek help from their local specialist drug services.’ 

In terms of the validity of the study, it was carried out over a few years and looked at 780 individuals - 410 of whom had reported a first episode of psychosis, and 370 who hadn’t. Dr. Marta Di Forti, who led the research, called it a ‘clear public message’ to weed smokers. 

Probably stay away from the skunk, guys. 

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Tags: Drugs