Marijuana and Mental Illness

Marijuana and Mental Illness

Source: Alex Berenson, "Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence," Imprimis, vol. 48, no. 1, Jan 2019

"They've told you marijuana has many different medical uses. In reality marijuana and THC, its active ingredient, have been shown to work only in a few narrow conditions. They are most commonly prescribed for pain relief. But they are rarely tested against other pain relief drugs like ibuprofen—and in July, a large four-year study of patients with chronic pain in Australia showed cannabis use was associated with greater pain over time."

"They've told you cannabis can stem opioid use—"Two new studies show how marijuana can help fight the opioid epidemic," according to Wonkblog, a Washington Post website, in April 2018— and that marijuana's effects as a painkiller make it a potential substitute for opiates. In reality, like alcohol, marijuana is too weak as a painkiller to work for most people who truly needopiates, such as terminal cancer patients."

"A mountain of peer-reviewed research in top medical journals shows that marijuana can cause or worsen severe mental illness, especially psychosis, the medical term for a break from reality. Teenagers who smoke marijuana regularly are about three times as likely to develop schizophrenia, the most devastating psychotic disorder."

"After an exhaustive review, the National Academy of Medicine found in 2017 that "cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk." Also that "regular cannabis use is likely to increase the risk for developing social anxiety disorder."

"In the 1970s, the last time this many Americans used cannabis, most marijuana contained less than two percent THC. Today, marijuana routinely contains 20 to 25 percent THC, thanks to sophisticated farming and cloning techniques — as well as to a demand by users for cannabis that produces a stronger high more quickly."

"People with schizophrenia are only moderately more likely to become violent than healthy people when they are taking antipsychotic medicine and avoiding recreational drugs. But when they use drugs, their risk of violence skyrockets."

"The most obvious way that cannabis fuels violence in psychotic people is through its tendency to cause paranoia—something even cannabis advocates acknowledge the drug can cause."

"Hard data on the relationship between marijuana and madness dates back 150 years, to British asylum registers in India."