As marijuana is becoming more popular and usage is on the increase, the question is often asked, does it serve as a trigger or treatment to people living with schizophrenia?
After numerous tests, scientists have found a correlation between marijuana and schizophrenia. Through a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University Medical Centre, it's been found that the risk of schizophrenia is higher in individuals who have a family history, however, the use of marijuana is not a factor in the onset.
Schizophrenia is a complex and chronic brain disorder that includes symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration patterns along with a serious lack of motivation.
The study by the Department of Neurobiology at Columbia University Medical Centre has highlighted the following findings,
The common factor between schizophrenia and marijuana consumption is a condition called ‘psychosis’. Not to be confused with the onset of psychotic behaviours, but rather causing a disruption in normal thought patterns. The symptoms of psychosis can be caused when THC levels are higher than 30%. However, these symptoms wear off as the effect of marijuana does.4
In contrast, the symptoms of psychosis for a person with schizophrenia increases with marijuana usage, which could result in severe outbursts, and potentially lead to psychotic behaviours.
The study concludes that marijuana does not directly lead to schizophrenia, however it increases the possibility of schizophrenia based on the following findings.4
If you know of anyone living with schizophrenia and using marijuana either for recreation or to self-medicate, encourage them to seek medical help.