Nearly a quarter of new cases of psychosis are linked to high-potency “skunk like” cannabis

February 16, 2015 11:22 am

Nearly a quarter of new cases of psychosis are linked to high-potency “skunk like” cannabis, new research shows.People
who smoke super-strength cannabis are three times more likely to
develop psychosis than people who have never tried the drug – and five
times more likely if they smoke it every day.
The study, by
researchers at King’s College London, will fuel calls for politicians
and public officials to take a stronger stance against high
potency cannabis, at a time when many campaigners are arguing for
marijuana to be legalised.
The researchers say there is an “urgent need” to inform young people about the risks of strong cannabis.
Uruguay
and the US state of Colorado have legalised cannabis use in recent
years, but there is mounting evidence that strong types of the drug can
trigger mental illness.

“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, Professor of Psychiatric Research at Institute of
Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s, which carried out
the research.
Dr Marta Di Forti from the IoPPN, who was lead
author on the research, said GPs should ask their patients what type of
cannabis they smoke, to clarify the risk of psychosis. The study found
that smoking hash, a less potent form of cannabis, had no association
with psychosis.
The research is published in Lancet Psychiatry.

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