Although marijuana users are known for becoming paranoid while high, here’s news that’s worth being paranoid about: pot smokers could be more prone to early psychotic disorders. Experts conducted a review of 83 studies to learn more about drug use and its relation to psychosis. They found that psychosis appeared nearly 3 years sooner in cannabis users than it did for drug-free individuals.
Psychosis is a mental health disorder typically signified by delusions, hallucinations, or disturbances in thought. Though psychotic disorders are often genetic and unavoidable, knowing which actions will delay brain damage by a couple of years is still significant. Women were especially vulnerable to pot’s effects on their mental health. While men who were prone to psychosis brought upon the disorder about two years earlier by smoking marijuana, female cannabis users expedited their symptoms by approximately three and a half years. The review also examined alcohol, but the substance did not appear to have an effect on psychosis.
While pot smoking is unlikely to bring about psychosis, it does appear to have an effect on how soon the disorders manifest. It is also possible that people whose psychotic symptoms appear earlier are driven to drugs to cope. With another study pointing to people living in cities being 40 percent more likely to develop psychosis, researchers are clearly actively attempting to determine the precise risk factors for these disorders.
In the meantime, if you’re a marijuana user who experiences hallucinations, be aware that that might not be your brain on drugs – it might just be your brain!