Risks of cannabis induced psychosis. With countries decriminalising medical and recreational cannabis use, there is concern about its link to psychosis. A 2018 study says the link between heavy cannabis use and psychosis is beyond dispute. So, what does this mean and who does it affect?
Psychosis and its effectsPsychosis is a mental disorder where someone cannot tell the difference between reality and what’s in their head. They believe in and see things that are not real and are obviously confused in their thinking. Symptoms can include:
- delusional thinking
- difficulty expressing emotions
- hearing voices that are not there
- feeling paranoid
- disorganised speech and thinking
- loss of motivation
- lack of interest in talking
- loss of the ability to take the initiative
- loss of focus
- drug dependency.
Effects of psychosisPsychosis can be part of or associated with other mental disorders such as:
- Bipolar disorder. The psychosis related to bipolar disorder is more about mood rather than thought disturbances.
- Depression with psychosis. This refers to someone with severe depression who also displays psychotic symptoms. But they do not have the mania of bipolar.
- Post traumatic stress disorder. Post traumatic stress disorder occurs after a traumatic event. People can experience hallucinations or flashbacks for up to a month.
- Delusional disorder. Delusional disorder is when someone has strong beliefs in something that is not real or true.
- Drug-induced psychosis. LSD, alcohol and cocaine can cause symptoms of drug-induced psychosis to emerge.
- Brief psychotic disorder. Brief psychotic disorder lasts for less than a month. It is usually triggered by a major traumatic or stressful event.
- Schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective refers to having the symptoms of a mood disorder and schizophrenia. These symptoms can occur simultaneously or alternate between each other.
- Schizophreniform disorder. This refers to someone with psychotic symptoms for less than 6 months.
- Organic psychosis. Organic psychosis can be the result of a head injury or illness.