can cannabis cause psychosis

Can cannabis cause psychosis? Public health busybodies will list negative aspects of cannabis as an argument either against legalization or for the “public health” model of legalization (which, in Canada’s case, has been a complete failure).

So if you’re playing public health bingo, you can stamp psychosis next to anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, and other “harms” associated with cannabis.

Of course, only .047% of cannabis consumers seek medical help for psychosis. So what’s the rationale behind this belief? Or is it simply reefer madness repackaged as Science™?

Can Cannabis Cause Psychosis? What is Psychosis?

Can Cannabis Cause Psychosis? What is Psychosis?

Can cannabis cause psychosis?

Psychosis is a mental health condition characterized by losing contact with reality. People suffering from it usually have symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and behaviour, and difficulty with social interaction and communication.

People suffering from the condition may believe someone is trying to harm them. They may also think that they, or you, for instance, have superhuman powers, like reading minds.

(According to Google’s definition, a symptom of psychosis is not trusting the government).

Someone with psychosis also may experience auditory hallucinations or perceive things that aren’t there. Disrupted thinking and behaviour can result in incoherent sentences and bizarre behaviour.

Psychosis isn’t just one thing. It can involve schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and clinical depression. But it can also be the product of drugs or medical conditions. There is no cure, but many treatment options, including medication and therapy, can help.

Now, just like other drugs, cannabis can induce temporary psychosis. You can say the same for alcohol, amphetamines, antidepressants, steroids, hallucinogens like acid and mushrooms, sedatives, and even caffeine.

The research is pretty conclusive: if you already have psychosis, or are developing it, then using any of the above substances, including cannabis, will worsen the problem.

The people at risk for “cannabis-induced psychosis” are already predisposed to the mental health condition. 

It’s like discouraging everyone from going outside in the sun because some people are predisposed to skin cancer. 

Can Cannabis Cause Psychosis in Young People?

Can Cannabis Cause Psychosis in Young People

Can cannabis cause psychosis? No, there is no evidence to suggest that otherwise healthy people will go insane when they use cannabis. Put it this way, and it’s obvious the cannabis-induced psychosis scare is reefer madness.

And it’s evident from the messaging.

Solid evidence suggests CBD – the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis – is beneficial in treating psychosis. So why aren’t public health busybodies promoting CBD? Why aren’t they worried about the high costs and government barriers surrounding this miracle supplement?

Of course, they may say we need more “research” despite the plant’s thousands of years of use. 

And today’s pot is more “potent,” and thus, young people should steer clear of the nontoxic herb. Instead, continue taking Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq, Xanax, Valium, Nardil, Marplan, Wellbutrin, Remeron, Seroquel, Risperdal, or Zyprexa.

But suppose an otherwise healthy male teen begins to experiment with cannabis. Is he or she setting themselves up for psychosis down the road?

According to this 2014 study, the young people most at risk for cannabis-induced psychosis are people with genetic susceptibility and childhood trauma.

So, in other words – unfortunate genes and a shitty upbringing contribute to mental health problems. Who knew?

How is cannabis at fault again? How are mentally ill people self-medicating with cannabis a problem with cannabis itself?

Take the edicts of public health and replace “cannabis” with alcohol. Now imagine them making these recommendations seriously to politicians and the public. We’d laugh them out of the room.

But because cannabis legalization is new and today’s weed is more potent than your parents…

What About Potent Cannabis?

What About Potent Cannabis?

Banning whiskey and vodka because they are “stronger” than beer makes absolutely zero sense. And yet, this is the argument public health makes regarding today’s more potent cannabis.

“This isn’t your grandma’s weed” is the mantra of these “cannabis causes psychosis” busybodies.

Actually, it is the same plant. Cannabis is a plant with plant cannabinoids, or phytocannabinoids, that mimic the natural endogenous ones our body produces. Today’s cannabis has a higher concentration of THC cannabinoids. That’s the issue they have.

But, like in the alcohol industry, you have choices. Including the choice not to consume.

You can buy cannabis that’s low in THC and high in CBD, or vice-versa. You can buy a balanced ratio. Or one that focuses on other cannabinoids, like CBN.

How do higher concentrations of THC in cannabis cause psychosis? What is the process by which this occurs? Is it more likely to happen in developing brains than in developed ones?

You’d think there’d be answers since public health is supposed to be “evidence-based.” But many studies define THC’s effects as psychosis and go from there.

It would be like defining all human behaviour as self-interested, so even altruistic actions are considered selfish. 

Suppose that public health is correct. High THC levels in cannabis are dangerous and unhealthy and can cause psychosis, especially in young people. 

The cannabis temperance movement still doesn’t have a foundation to stand on.

As Thomas Sowell said, “Crusaders [against drugs] cannot accept the fact they are not God, that they have neither the right nor the competence to run other people’s lives.”

Can Cannabis Cause Psychosis?

Can cannabis cause psychosis in otherwise healthy people?

Can cannabis cause psychosis in otherwise healthy people? No, it can aggravate symptoms if you already have or are predisposed to it, but cannabis alone cannot cause poor mental health.

In fact, nothing causes poor mental health. Human beings aren’t billiard balls. We respond to incentives and make choices. Our actions don’t have causes. They have reasons.

A young person with psychosis may consume cannabis as a self-medicating treatment. This may have pros and cons, but the decision belongs to that person. 

We should be concerned only when their behaviour violates property rights. That’s the only “public interest” in whether cannabis causes psychosis.