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Latest Research On Pot and Schizophrenia Runs Contrary to Mainstream Media Hype

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 26, 2010

    The mainstream media loves to spill ink hyping the allegation that marijuana causes mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. In fact, it was in March when international media outlets declared that cannabis use ‘doubled’ one’s risk of developing the disease. Yet when research appears in scientific journals rebuking just this sort of ‘reefer madness,’ it generally goes unreported.

    Such is the case with a pair of just-published studies slated to appear in the journal Schizophrenia Research. The first study, conducted by a team of researchers at various New York state hospitals, the Yale University School of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Mental Health assessed whether there exists a causal association between cannabis use and the age of onset of psychosis in patients hospitalized for the first time for an episode of schizophrenia.

    Despite previous media claims to the contrary, researchers concluded:
    “Although the onset of cannabis use disorder preceded the onset of illness in most patients, our findings suggest that age at onset of psychosis was not associated with cannabis use disorders. Previous studies implicating cannabis use disorders in schizophrenia may need to more comprehensively assess the relationship between cannabis use disorders and schizophrenia, and take into account the additional variables that we found associated with cannabis use disorders.”

    A separate study slated for publication in the same journal assessed the cognitive skills of schizophrenic patients with a history of cannabis use compared to non-users. Authors reported that patients with a history of marijuana use “demonstrated significantly better performance on measures of processing speed, verbal fluency, and verbal learning and memory” compared to abstainers. Marijuana use was also associated with better overall GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) scores compared to those of non-users.

    Authors concluded: “The results of the present analysis suggest that (cannabis use) in patients with SZ (schizophrenia) is associated with better performance on measures of processing speed and verbal skills. These data are consistent with prior reports indicating that SZ patients with a history of CUD (cannabis use disorders) have less severe cognitive deficits than SZ patients without comorbid CUD. … The present findings also suggest that CUD in patients with SZ may not differentially affect the severity of illness as measured by clinical symptomatology.”

    Both study’s findings are in line with previous (though virtually unreported) research indicating that marijuana is unlikely to instigate incidences of schizophrenia in the general population, that cannabis use among patients with the disease is associated with higher cognitive function, and that at least some schizophrenics find subjective relief from symptoms of the illness by using pot. Nonetheless, odds are the nobody from the mainstream media will be champing at the bit to report on them.

    Bottom line: marijuana’s complex relationship with schizophrenia is far from understood, and likely won’t be for some time. But that doesn’t give the MSM a free pass to only promote one side of the story.

    110 Responses to “Latest Research On Pot and Schizophrenia Runs Contrary to Mainstream Media Hype”

    1. […] some studies have associated cannabis use with higher cognitive functioning – including better performance on measures of processing speed and verbal skills – other research has implied that cannabis […]

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    3. […] some studies have associated cannabis use with higher cognitive functioning – including better performance on measures of processing speed and verbal skills – other research has implied that cannabis […]

    4. […] While some studies have associated cannabis use with higher cognitive functioning – including better performance on measures of processing speed and verbal skills – other research has implied that cannabis use, […]

    5. […] While some studies have associated cannabis use with higher cognitive functioning – including better performance on measures of processing speed and verbal skills – other research has implied that cannabis use, […]

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    8. […] Tokin Daily a couple stoner news clippings for you today, first news from the noml page at http://blog.norml.org/2010/05/26/latest-research-on-pot-and-schizophrenia-runs-contrary-to-mainstrea… that talks some REAL science on the issue of marijuana and schizophrenia and how marijuana can […]

    9. […] Latest Research On Pot and Schizophrenia Runs Contrary to Mainstream Media Hype […]

    10. Take every ‘study’ ever done that’s used only pure THC or Dronabinol (Marinol synthetic THC) and chuck it out the window.

      Those studies are simply studies of THC… not “Cannabis”.

      The hingepin information that’s turning the tide is regarding the effects of Cannabidiol(CBD) on the human psyche.

      Strains of cannabis that have a higher CBD than THC content will not get you high… the anti-psychotic properties of cannabidiol are really that strong.

      Harlequin… a specific cannabis plant… produces 8% CBD and only 6% THC during flower. Even though the THC content is only 2% lower than the CBD… it’s completely impossible to get ‘High’, ‘stoned’ or otherwise ‘inebriated’ from using it, regardless of how much you use.

      This means that, unlike Marinol or straight THC, you can medicate with it using levels you need… without it slowing you down or affecting your mtor skills or judgement.

      High doses of Marinol (Dronabinol) will cause “Manic Psychosis” in just about everyone.

      The kicker? Prohibition is almost directly responsible for the masive amounts of high THC… low CBD strains of cannabis available today.
      http://thecleangame.net/2013/10/prohibition-causes-psychosis/
      These pressures have seriously increased the risk of cannabis induced psychosis events in young adults today.

      The information tide is changing though, awesomeness is spreading in the land.

      Keep it Clean! :D

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