Study: Canadian MJ Legalization Has No Association with Increasing Psychosis Rates

Study: Canadian MJ Legalization Has No Association with Increasing Psychosis Rates

As cannabis reform moves forward in Western countries, there is growing debate over cannabis-induced psychosis, with regular use of cannabis and highly concentrated products potentially worsening mental health symptoms as access increases. It has been suggested that.

However, recent study Published in International Pharmaceutical Policy Journal took a closer look at changes in cannabis policy after Canada legalized cannabis in October 2018, and ultimately found no association between legalization and increased rates of cannabis-related psychosis.

While this study suggests that changes in cannabis laws are unrelated to increases in psychotic disorders, at least for now, the researchers also found that “the population-level effects of decriminalization cannot be fully accounted for.” “Longer observation periods after legalization are needed to understand.” Medical marijuana legalization. ”

There is no link between mental disorders and cannabis reform

The study adds to recent headlines, including the idea that cannabis is a “risk factor in the onset and persistence of psychotic disorders” and that the legalization of recreational cannabis could increase these risks. This highlights some concerns.

Through a cross-sectional, interrupted time-series analysis from January 2014 to March 2020, a team of Canadian researchers found regional changes in the use of health services and the incidence of psychotic disorders in the months immediately following cannabis legalization. We investigated the changes.

The researchers looked at psychosis-related outpatient visits, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and length of stay in people aged 14 to 60, as well as incidents of psychotic illness.

Ultimately, the researchers found no evidence that the use of medical services or the incidence of mental disorders increased in the short 17 months following cannabis legalization. However, they noted “a clear upward trend in health service utilization and incidents of substance-induced psychotic disorders” throughout the observation period from 2014 to 2020.

“Our findings suggest that initial severe market restrictions after legalization of non-medical cannabis were not associated with increased use of medical services or frequency of psychotic disorders. ”, the authors concluded, highlighting the need for long-term observation after legalization to fully understand the population-level impacts of legalization and reform.

“It would therefore be premature to conclude that the legalization of non-medical cannabis did not lead to increases in the use of medical services or the number of incidents of mental disorders,” they write.

Further evidence that legalization does not increase the number of mentally ill patients

This study adds to a growing body of research that similarly affirms that cannabis reform is not associated with significant changes surrounding cannabis-induced psychosis.

Another 2022 study Examining Canada's cannabis legalization framework in relation to emergency department presentations of cannabis-induced psychosis and schizophrenia, we also found that the reform was not associated with these cases. Researchers still note that more research is needed on this topic.

Looking at the United States and recent reform trends, recent studies also suggest that states with legal cannabis programs do not have higher rates of psychosis. 2023 study Researchers investigated the relationship between adult-use cannabis legalization and psychosocial functioning in a cohort of 240 identical twin pairs. One of the individuals lived in a state where adult-use marijuana is permitted, and the other lived in a state where it is criminally prohibited.

Although the researchers noted a slight increase in the frequency with which participants reported cannabis use, legalization was not positively correlated with increases in psychosis, substance abuse disorders, or other adverse outcomes. discovered. The study also found that residents of marijuana-legal states were less likely to engage in problematic alcohol use behaviors.

Furthermore, in 2022 data A study of a cohort of 233,000 European cannabis consumers found that among people without pre-existing mental illness, cannabis consumption rarely causes acute psychotic episodes. The authors reported that less than half of 1% of participants experienced “cannabis-related psychotic symptoms,” and those at higher risk were younger and had bipolar, anxiety, or depressive disorders; Subjects reported having a diagnosis of psychosis.

Cannabis and the message of mental illness: A modern resurgence of “reefer madness”?

Although more research is still needed on the subject, many cannabis experts, experts, and advocates are calling the emerging trend linking legal cannabis to new-onset psychotic symptoms a modern-day version of “reefer madness.” I consider it to be.

Many believe that cannabis use is becoming more prominent and that broader messages reflect the conversation of the 1900s, when cannabis use and access inherently had greater psychological effects. These contemporary conversations are compared by linking cannabis to psychotic symptoms and mental health concerns. Health risks across populations.

Studies have found a correlation between schizophrenia and heavy cannabis use, and psychiatrists have long known that substance abuse disorders are associated with psychiatric comorbidity; There is limited evidence of how the relationship applies to the general population. There is also limited information about the extent to which substance use disorders are caused by such comorbidities.

in the investigation, It is shown Although heavy alcohol consumption has been shown to cause organic psychosis and dementia, these potential risks usually limit alcohol consumption completely, especially among people who do not already have associated risk factors. It does not promote the idea of ​​avoidance.

Paul Armentano, deputy director of the cannabis advocacy group NORML, wrote about this topic last year, saying that people with certain mental disorders or predispositions may be at additional risk for increased mental health symptoms when it comes to cannabis consumption. It pointed out. Cannabis risks do little to protect them. ”

“Calls for the recriminalization of cannabis in the country's legal market will not get you there,” Armentano said. write. “Rather, establishing a regulated market aimed at keeping cannabis products away from young people, and issuing clear warnings to certain populations who may be more vulnerable to its effects, would be a good idea for consumer education policy. Together, they are the best way to protect public health and reduce risk to consumers. ”

David B.
David B. stands out as an exceptional cannabis writer, skillfully navigating the intricate world of cannabis culture and industry. His insightful and well-researched articles provide a nuanced perspective on various aspects, from the therapeutic benefits to the evolving legal landscape. David's writing reflects a deep understanding of the plant's history, its diverse strains, and the ever-changing dynamics within the cannabis community. What sets him apart is his ability to break down complex topics into digestible pieces, making the information accessible to both seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers alike. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for the subject, David B. emerges as a reliable and engaging voice in the realm of cannabis literature.

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