It has been a long time belief among many that there exists a link between adolescent marijuana use and psychotic symptoms. While many believed that marijuana was the cause of psychosis, it is now up for serious debate. It seems to be a chicken vs. egg dilemma.
“We have focused mainly on temporal order; is it the chicken or the egg? As the study shows, it is a bidirectional relationship,” wrote the study’s lead author Merel Griffith-Lendering, a doctoral candidate at Leiden University in The Netherlands.
Medical director for addiction services at the Rochester General Hospital in upstate New York, Gregory Seeger said, “What is interesting in this study is that both processes are going on at the same time.”
A study of 3,800 Australian teenagers conducted back in 2010 showed that those who smoked weed were twice as likely to develop psychosis in comparison to those who never smoked pot. However, the same study also showed that those who suffered from delusions and hallucinations when younger were also more likely to smoke pot at a younger age.
Griffith-Lendering along with her colleagues used information on 2,120 Dutch teenagers surveyed on their pot use when they were 14, 16, and 19 years of age. These teens took psychosis vulnerability tests asking them about things such as their ability to concentrate, whether they were seeing things others couldn’t, and their feeling of loneliness.
The overall findings pointed out that 940 of these teens- 44%- said they smoked pot, finding that there was a bidirectional link between pot use and psychosis. The findings showed that many of those that would start smoking at the age of 16 developed psychotic symptoms at the age of 19. Likewise, those that had symptoms at the age of 16 started to smoke at the age of 19 to help with the psychotic issues.
“We can say for some people that cannabis comes first and psychosis comes second, but for some people they have some (undiagnosed) psychosis (and) perhaps cannabis makes them feel better,” said the unbiased Dr. Marta Di Forti, of King’s College, London.
But as the chicken vs. egg problem has already been solved (If Darwin’s theory of Evolution and Natural selection is true, then it had to be the egg), hopefully this mystery will one day too be resolved.
Paul Hudson | Elite.