The Clinic: Smoke Weed and Don’t Worry About Schizophrenia
Of all the scare tactics used over the last century to make people afraid of a largely harmless plant, the idea that smoking pot can cause psychotic episodes or even schizophrenia is one of the oldest and most difficult to overcome. Especially in regards to adolescents, whose developing brains may react to THC and other cannabinoids differently than adults.
Unfortunately, while most reefer madness claims — like “marijuana will make men grow breasts” and “smoking pot causes lung cancer” — can be easily debunked, the evidence regarding ganja and schizophrenia has been a bit mixed. Until now.
In a new article published in the scholarly journal Schizophrenia Research, a team from Harvard Medical School found that there’s no reason to draw a link between marijuana use and an increased chance of developing schizophrenia. For the study, 282 subjects were divided into four groups: those with no history of psychosis or drug use (including cannabis); those with no history of psychosis, and heavy marijuana use as adolescents, but no other drug use; those with no history of using any drug (including marijuana) and less than 10 years of illness; and those with a history of heavy marijuana use, and no other drug use during adolescence, prior to psychosis onset. Read more