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The scientific term for weed is cannabis, however, the most prevalent colloquial terms are Pot and Grass. Cannabis refers to all compounds derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis includes around 540 chemical compounds. Marijuana refers to portions or derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant that contain significant levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

A recent study has identified a link between the use of weed and acute and chronic psychosis. People who use the drug may develop an acute severe form of psychosis that can be quite distressing. In such a situation, weed can induce hallucinations, although the effect is short-lived.

Heavy marijuana usage has also been shown to increase the risk of developing long-term psychotic symptoms, which can progress to more serious psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia. Here is what you should know.

Psychosis is frequently linked with other mental disorders, but drugs can also induce it. Different drugs have long been recognized to induce psychotic symptoms. For some, overcoming psychotic symptoms is as simple as discontinuing the drug. Nevertheless, you must first recognize that the drug is responsible for the psychotic symptoms. If this is the case, then you may only require therapy for substance abuse. 

A psychotic episode may be triggered by marijuana, although this reaction is uncommon. When it does occur, psychosis is typically severe. This indicates that it occurs abruptly and ceases when the substance leaves the person’s biological system. Due to the severe nature of the symptoms, some individuals may require urgent care. Typically, treatment consists of placing the individual in a tranquil environment and giving antipsychotic medicine.

While cannabis-induced psychosis is typically brief, certain individuals may experience prolonged psychotic episodes. This is more likely to occur in those with a mental disorder. There is a link between marijuana consumption and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. It is unknown if marijuana use causes the emergence of schizophrenia, although research suggests that it can trigger episodes in people with schizophrenia or promote the onset of the disorder in those who are predisposed. It is also generally known that people with mental illness are more prone to use marijuana, possibly as a self-medication strategy.

Occasionally, acute psychosis is referred to as “a short psychotic episode.” If the psychosis is caused by marijuana use, it may disappear once the drug wears off. 

Acute psychosis can be particularly intense and severe, yet it is brief. A single episode can last up to one month. If it persists for a longer time, it will likely be identified as another mental health condition in which psychotic symptoms persist.

On the other side, the symptoms may last for months or years, primarily if you are a frequent weed user. When drug-induced psychosis becomes a chronic issue, rehabilitation will likely involve either a mental disorder or dual diagnosis, as the problem affects mental health and involves substance abuse.

Several disorders feature long-term psychotic symptoms. The same psychotic symptoms stated in this article also happen, but they remain longer, maybe for the remainder of your life. After that, psychotic symptoms occur frequently, particularly if you do not receive treatment. Schizophrenia triggered by drugs could affect you.

Cannabis-induced psychosis is an actual psychiatric disorder, but one that normally does not last long enough. It can be diagnosed using the criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. According to the diagnostic handbook, this condition produces psychotic symptoms after marijuana use, during marijuana withdrawal, or within a month of marijuana usage. Marijuana-induced psychosis symptoms must be serious enough to limit a person’s capacity to function and cannot be attributed to another mental disorder, such as schizophrenia. Among the symptoms of marijuana or cannabis-induced psychosis are

Delusions. Delusions are false beliefs. A delusional individual maintains these ideas despite the lack of proof that they are true and the existence of compelling evidence that they are incorrect. With psychosis caused by marijuana, paranoia and suspicion of others are prevalent delusions. Another prevalent misconception is one of grandiosity, thinking an individual can do more or is competent in more than they are.

Hallucinations. Psychosis also often generates hallucinations, which are feelings that an individual’s beliefs are real but don’t exist in reality. These might be visual, generating sights and scenes, or auditory, hearing voices that aren’t there. Additionally, hallucinations may affect the sensations of touch and smell.

Dissociation. Dissociation is a perception that one is not related to the physical world in some way. One type, depersonalization, creates the sensation of being outside of one’s own body. De-realization happens when an individual believes that the surrounding objects and people are not real.

Disorganized thinking. Psychosis is characterized by chaotic and disordered thought patterns as well as prolonged and distressing thoughts. During a psychotic episode, it can be challenging to think properly or focus on anything. To an observer, this psychotic sign makes it appear as though an individual is uttering nonsense. Speech may be jumbled or hop to so many different topics that it is impossible to comprehend what is being said.

Affect and behavior modifications. Psychosis can impair the effect or the feeling of emotions. This may cause an individual to respond, behave, or improperly express feelings. Changes may be accentuated, such as when an individual gets extremely irritated, furious, or irritable. Psychosis is also associated with diminished emotion. It can lead a person to be emotionless or apathetic, and in extreme circumstances, catatonic.

The vast majority of marijuana psychosis sufferers are not harmful. However, there is always the danger that an individual who has lost a sense of reality would exhibit actions that represent a threat to themselves or others. 

For example, delusional thinking may lead someone to believe that their closest mate is trying to get them, and they might feel the need to take precautions. 

Paranoia is one of the more typical delusions produced by marijuana use.

Another possibility is that a person’s grandiose delusions lead them to do very dangerous and harmful things. This can include driving without paying attention, jumping from high places, or anything else they would never normally do. 

In this way, psychosis can inflict harm on the affected individual. If a person has these signs and seems like they might hurt themselves or others, it is very important to get help.

Regular cannabis use may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, particularly in teenagers and young adults.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that changes the way individuals feel, think, and act. Psychosis, where a person has lost touch with reality and may suffer delusions and hallucinations, can be caused by schizophrenia.

The use of weed, also known as marijuana or cannabis, may increase the chance of developing psychosis.

Cannabis usage is a potential risk factor for acquiring mental health problems or worsening an existing one, according to a 2021 study.

Teenagers and young adults who use cannabis frequently run the risk of acquiring a psychotic condition, such as schizophrenia. Those having a genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia may be at a higher risk.

Up to 25–30 percent of cannabis users who visit the emergency departments exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Varied degrees of psychotic symptoms

The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Additionally, cannabis includes other chemicals that are chemically similar to THC. They are known as cannabinoids.

Cannabis use may exacerbate the course of schizophrenia in susceptible individuals.

A report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that people who use cannabis, especially in large amounts, can have a short-term psychotic reaction even if they don’t have schizophrenia. As the medication wears off, the symptoms diminish.

During the initial phase of intoxication, symptoms like anxiety, paranoia, or psychosis may manifest. Coordination and learning problems, as well as sleep problems, are some of the effects that may last for a long time but won’t last forever.

The cumulative effects of repeated cannabis usage might produce long-term problems.

Clinicians can diagnose cannabis intoxication if the person’s behavior or thoughts have changed a lot after using cannabis in the past. Cannabis intoxication can begin within minutes if the drug is inhaled, while it takes hours if it is ingested.

The duration of effects can vary based on an individual’s tolerance and dosage. Although they normally endure between three to four hours, they can last up to 24 hours.

Many people who go to the emergency room with psychotic symptoms from using marijuana may need to be admitted to the hospital. Up to fifty percent of these people will develop schizophrenia.

Even if you’re a seasoned cannabis consumer, you may not experience the same effects each time you use the drug.

Sometimes, it can do exactly what you want it to do, whether you’re trying to treat symptoms of a mental illness or increase your appetite. On occasion, however, it may heighten feelings of worry and anxiety, particularly if you’re using a high-THC product (THC).

In some situations, cannabis-induced anxiety may manifest as a panic attack, leading to

  • Shaking or perspiration
  • An inexplicable sense of impending disaster
  • Fears of others observing or judging you
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme sensations of dread
  • Pain or suffocating symptoms in the chest
  • Abdominal pains or nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling, numbness, or chills
  • A feeling of separation from reality or the body

It is also typical to fear death and losing control. Although these feelings can be terrifying, they are quite typical of panic attacks.

The good news is that panic attacks pose no serious hazard. Additionally, they leave on their own, typically within 10 minutes. 10 minutes may seem like a lifetime if you are gripped by terror.

Here are some interim means of finding comfort in such situations.

  • Assure yourself you are not in danger
  • Maintain composure and eat something
  • Try a few deep breaths
  • Utilize grounding methods
  • Get moving
  • Consider aromatherapy

Usually, cannabis-induced psychosis disorder (CIPD) is not permanent.

Even though there isn’t a surefire way to treat it, there is evidence that quitting cannabis may make symptoms better.

In a 2007 report, scientists found that after one week of cannabis abstinence, all 20 subjects reported a significant reduction in symptoms such as hallucinations, uncooperativeness, and grandiose delusions.

Some antipsychotic drugs may also alleviate severe symptoms in some patients. One study says that if someone can’t stop using cannabis, the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole could be used to stop psychotic effects.

Experts highlight the need for additional studies into CIPD treatments, especially for patients who use cannabis to manage other symptoms.

Many individuals with a diagnosis of CIPD develop schizophrenia over time, according to experts.

In fact, as per a 2018 research of nearly 7,000 patients diagnosed with substance-induced psychosis, 47.4 percent of subjects changed from CIPD to bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Both of these disorders are chronic, although a combo of therapy, medication, and other interventions can frequently alleviate symptoms considerably.

Coordinated specialty care (CSC) may be a helpful treatment for individuals in the early phases of psychosis. A team of healthcare experts collaborates with the patient and the family to provide:

  • Family assistance and training
  • Peer support
  • Psychotherapy
  • Assistance for employment and education

Psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals, like antipsychotic drugs, may be utilized to treat schizophrenia or psychosis.

People may also seek therapy for cannabis abuse. Examples include

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a form of psychotherapy that gives people methods to identify and change problematic patterns of thought and behavior.

Contingency management: This strategy comprises constant monitoring of the conduct and behavior that a person is seeking to modify and the provision of rewards or incentives for positive adjustments.

Motivational enhancement therapy: This therapy seeks to urge the individual to use their own time and resources to invest in treatment and generate good changes.

What Can Parents Do?

The best thing parents can do is empower their children with information — not fear tactics or threats, but facts: that infrequent or occasional marijuana use is significantly safer than regular use, and that everyday usage could lead to serious problems. And that we simply do not know enough about the risks marijuana poses to the developing brain of adolescents and its long-term impacts.

It is a difficult talk to have, especially with young people who believe they are invincible in their developmental stage. Using alcohol and drugs is common among teenagers and young adults, and in some ways, it’s a rite of passage. It’s something that a large number of people do, and a large number of them don’t experience any problems as a result.

Caregivers should start this ongoing conversation as soon as possible, because the report says there is evidence that starting to use marijuana at a younger age makes it more likely that the person will become dependent on it, which can hurt their academic development and personal relationships.

The best advice for parents is to communicate frequently and openly. In the end, it will come down to what your child believes is his or her greatest advantage and how they operate on that idea. The child should have extensive knowledge.

When To See A Doctor

Anyone who has symptoms of pre-psychosis or psychosis or sees them in someone else should talk to a doctor. Early intervention can stop or slow psychosis and make it more likely that the person will get better.

Additionally, it is essential to seek therapy for a cannabis use disorder. A physician or mental health practitioner can discuss treatment options with an individual.

  1. Marijuana and psychosis. Child Mind Institute. Available at: https://childmind.org/article/marijuana-and-psychosis.
  2. Can marijuana cause psychosis? Verywell Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/can-marijuana-cause-psychosis-5200547.
  3. What to know about weed-induced schizophrenia. Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/weed-induced-schizophrenia-symptoms#contacting-a-doctor.

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