The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London has carried out a new study that looked into the effect of smoking strong cannabis. The results were pretty staggering as it was revealed that smoking potent cannabis is linked to 24% of new psychosis cases.
Psychosis is a serious mental health problem that causes people to perceive and interpret things differently from those around them. This can involve hallucinations or delusions which can be present in certain psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
It has been suggested that the risk of psychosis is an incredible three times higher for users of ‘skunk-like’ cannabis than it is for non-users. Worryingly, those who smoke it every day are further increasing their risk as this group is five times more likely to experience psychosis than non-users.
A former cannabis user from Berkshire commented:
“I dabbled with cannabis in my early 20s and went from someone who had never experienced any mental health issues whatsoever to an absolute wreck. I was terrified of leaving the house and I became petrified of death, of the mysteries of the universe and of being alone. You name it, I was terrified of it.
It took about six years to feel normal again and now, almost 20 years later I have absolutely no doubt that my issues were triggered by casually and naively smoking this so called ‘soft’ drug.”
Although the research did conclude that the use of milder forms of the drug such as hash do not lead to the same conclusion, the concern is that the availability of skunk-like cannabis is becoming more widespread.
Dr Di Forti, the lead researcher for the study continued:
“There were lots of reports from police across the UK saying we have become a great producer of skunk. Not only do we use it locally but we export so this is a Made in England product.”
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