Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Lower Mortality Risk In Patients With Psychotic Disorders

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 29, 2012

    [Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.]

    The use of cannabis is associated with lower mortality risk in patients with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders, according to a forthcoming study to be published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. (Read the abstract of the study online here.)

    An international team of investigators from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Inje University in South Korea assessed the impact of a lifetime history substance use on mortality in 762 subjects with schizophrenia or related disorders.

    Researchers reported, “[W]e observed a lower mortality risk-adjusted variable in cannabis-users compared to cannabis non-users despite subjects having similar symptoms and anti-psychotic treatments.”

    Authors speculated that the association between marijuana use and decreased mortality risk may be because “cannabis users may (be) higher functioning” and because “cannabis itself may have some health benefits.”

    They concluded: “To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to examine the risk of mortality with cannabis and alcohol in people with PD (psychotic disorders). This interesting finding of decreased mortality risk … in cannabis users is a novel finding and one that will need replication in larger epidemiological studies.”

    NORML Board Member Dr. Lester Grinpoon, psychiatrist and former Harvard Medical School professor, similarly noted that the study’s findings, though promising, require replication in separate trials. “In reading the cannabis literature over the years, I have learned to be somewhat skeptical about any single report and to maintain a ‘wait and see’ posture as new data eventually flesh out the reality,” he said.

    To date the association between cannabis use and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia is not well understood. 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, particularly heavy use at an early age, may precipitate or exacerbate the disease in those already vulnerable to it. Other experts have criticized this purported link to be “overstated” and not “particularly compelling,” noting that increased levels of cannabis use by the general public has not yet been positively associated with proportionally rising incidences of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.

    Full text of the study, “Alcohol and cannabis use and mortality in people with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders,” will appear in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. Additional information on cannabis use and mental illness, please see the NORML white paper, “Cannabis, Mental Health, and Context.”

    34 responses to “Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Lower Mortality Risk In Patients With Psychotic Disorders”

    1. beez says:

      I have borderline…I have been put on many pills…cannabis is the only thing that works to keep me mellow and maintain my perspective.

      ignore the Dave Evans post…it’s. pretty far off the mark

    2. St. Nick says:

      Yeah, God invented pot and it’s not as though he didn’t know we were going to smoke it. No one sits around worrying if Santa Claus is real or not (which is why my “name” is what you see). Anyone who does pot after 10-15 minutes after first use realizes that it is ALL good. They get a great feeling, their vision gets “better to look at” and they might just feel SO good that they start laughing “at nothing.” Unfortunately a good number of “good people” listen to government propaganda when they say things like “weed has it’s roots in hell,” “it leads to heroin, crack, and pcp,” and various other BULL SHIT. But bad people like our “justices” lawmakers and supreme court judges want only to keep their jobs and their pay so they want to take us back to the stone age with awful, unfair laws or keep things the same. I don’t know who’s worse, the politicians or the “good people” who go for their ways and laws blindly. Weed was legal in Jesus’ time- he could have smoked it himself. You don’t KNOW he didn’t. And look at the GOOD that came out of that time. Weed was legal when the United States was created. People have smoked it for 5 thousand years. The earliest finding of that was in ROMANIA where they found BURNT cannabis seeds in a TEMPLE. I hoped they learned to de-seed it by then. It CAN’T and WON’T kill you. It has THOUSANDS of good uses, 0 bad affects unless you drive down a highway smokin’ a blunt doing 110. I actually believe in 2 Gods, 1 male and 1 female (that’s why we have men AND women). Feeling good should be legal. We don’t even have freedom of reality in this country and thanks to stupid assholes in USA in every other country too. You’d have to go to Antarctica to legally feel the way you want to or think the way you want to. Those assholes must get off on ruining our time and fighting this stupid ass crusade of a less then holy nature. I’d like to drop a few drops of LSD into their water glasses. Then they’d feel so good it would be a preview of heaven… on earth.

    3. I used to take scripts for my pain and got very addicted… Fortunately I was able to quit and have been clean for 2 years I have been smoking marijuana for the last year and have fallen in love! It has truly saved my life!

    4. Dave Evans says:

      Well Beez, maybe if you weren’t so darn overly defensive all the time, you might have noticed I wasn’t talking about you! You’re getting help for your condition.

      Prohibitionists just continue to hide behind their lies, unable to admit they were wrong and they took us all down the wrong path. Hiding from their mistakes and not admitting to them has become more important that following the constitution and doing the right things. These folks are completely unaware they are borderline, but following their advice and policies are getting people killed on a daily basis.

    5. Dave Evans says:

      St Nick,

      Jesus treated people with marijuana, mixed it with other healing herbs and oils.

    6. Jeremy P says:

      Here is another medical/psychological use for cannabis that should be studied – “Anger Management”. I know for an absolute fact that I have much much better control of my temper when I have cannabis in my system. In fact – my wife likes me better after I have endulged! It’s not that I’m always angry or mean, it’s just that the difference is noticeable. I believe that it may make even more difference in people that actually have anger problems.

    7. Bryan says:

      Cannabis . “loco weed” isn’t good for assoc 🙂
      high mind of the thought to begin why the old*
      Elizabethean Counsel said , manna. pot. The uh
      loco weed in question isn’t good for the men *
      who found it at Columbus travels to Brasilia.,
      and not to say they are not known to look up n
      the sky and dance and ‘jeer’ at what the cloud
      cover is doing up there . . at the travels to~
      New World with “loco manna” as Cray~z Wydd 😀

      OK. Hi guys . . Are You CrayZ inSANE *GeoMen*?

      Schizo*phe$ren!ia! isn’t a real condition now@
      according to actual Freud who debunked it. 😀

      The write up of Freud’s work on Austrian thots
      got lambasted and re-written by a Kraut who .,
      wanted the role of Iron Fist (curtain) ideal$n
      to show he did not give thought to Master Edit
      as the role of proper accord with ideal future
      without the role of his Nature Thought idealen
      as the role of proper thought to begin sanity.

      Natural Cannabis brings sanity to the higher!!
      affected thoughts at reguard to former “high”%
      thoughts and “mental worsome in case of high!”
      ~problem with fascist regard to the horrible #
      acts of sensual violence *schizopherianacs* uh
      promote to begin the craven of term: “b~laven”
      and it may be debunked with some sweet sensi~#
      milla . “sorry to bother facsism though. fact”
      !! harm reduction will want good natural .org*
      cannabis manna ~pot . Thanks and Hooray 😀 🙂

      My condition without being B~laven CrayZinSANe
      is Terrete’s Chrons not money though *happy* N
      Terrete’s home hearing disorder . Sums it up .

      Terrete’s tell people off . It avoids ultimate
      evil and doesn’t like “Rennaissance Medici” uh
      reason of additive to medication . Huh, Medici
      isn’t referring to the Italian RenAISense Gold
      banker ., guy . . it’s mensual pain med*i!ci!*
      pronounced med i si{y} nurse[Y]s who wanted uh
      treatment for pain and invention of the needle
      to show they are problem with money and charit
      i ous reguard to guarded “cannabel polite” uh~
      thought as canna.bis not the cannabis products
      though a “dream nomible product” would appear$
      good and polite with a sinister undetected uhm
      evil about the role of fascien and “evoil” pot
      as “pot” is a word in case of [fash *en] newer
      thought to not allow the regard of statement @
      not showing what would be the likes of Arthur#
      regard to show the Mythic of former Monarchy.s
      not requited to the “Lore” of uncopied Kingdom
      etcetera affected the Elizabethian Counsel on%
      bringing pot home from the New World and it uh
      bein{g} “loco weed” known as prohibition dollr
      payment for continued greed known as the drugs
      “stoned” enforcement keyword :#: “ma ri juana”
      so it’s been said enough by Tea Party . . , !!
      “M a ri jua na” is the DEA Keyword for prohibi
      tio~n dollar greed payment to Republic[en] @!!
      payment for the Skull n Bones thoughts on Nazi
      co~mingle as the regard of Peace and The{g}n*~
      Iron Fist of Domain and [control] office of uh
      Reform and will be known by the actual leaders
      at NORML [2] 😀 😀 as ** cannabis ** allgood
      referring the newer Decrim2 care of Manna P @!
      [P] meaning psychology not primary case and @!
      not referring to money copy given to guardian~
      as the role of apparent money copy Republic~en
      to pay bills and “have not anything to show fr
      it” will be to now deny taken money and begin~
      the free debit system at home life mental gent
      [gen.t being gen {japonas}: health . a word .]
      @!! #$ ~pot etcetera 🙂 🙂 thanks .and hooray*
      so we may begin Decrim2 at Midwest {I won’t uh
      say it’s my spurious delusive to begin (*sigh)
      a Tri Cam.eral Kingdom with _\|/_ / GreenSmoke
      care of the Manna P Decrim2 regard .,. allgood
      and begin the ruling to deny mentaGen fascien$
      ~ism . . . is all I wanted to say . PeaceN~pot
      Thank You kind people . yer all {kind} . _\|/_
      ~ please allow all said as written . MannaNpax
      thanks . former Comm. Directory midwest office
      not NORML major “intern” whatever {sigh} Bryan

    8. Bryan says:

      H~allo . typos . fasc*ism is in uh dictionary.

      Renaissance is with one N . I’m good with [Nn]

      Thanks . Peace . info2 :*: 😀 😀 Bryan _\|/_
      Green Smoke and KansasP Decrim2 . , . Hooray .

    9. stilllockedoutoftheshed says:

      jeremy p…..yes…that too ma man!! even temper means happier society….

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