Cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs in the nation, and the legalization of recreational marijuana use in several states has only contributed to this trend.
While many people believe that smoking weed is harmless, numerous reports have suggested a correlation between marijuana and psychiatric conditions, including marijuana-induced psychosis. Our nationwide drug treatment facility is aware that the lack of knowledge surrounding marijuana psychosis and the misunderstandings related to cannabis’s therapeutic effects can potentially have dangerous results. For this reason, we’re expanding on the subject of cannabis-induced psychosis and its side effects.
Can Marijuana Cause Psychosis?
Drugs and other substances often produce psychotic symptoms. This type of condition is known as drug-induced psychosis, which can occur due to using drugs like stimulants, hallucinogens, and alcohol. While psychosis can occur in some people when they use drugs, it’s also a common withdrawal symptom that can occur when a person suddenly stops using drugs or alcohol. Marijuana can cause psychosis as well. The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is responsible for the high that users experience. However, ingesting large doses of THC can contribute to psychotic symptoms, which is why people who use large amounts of marijuana or are long-time users are more likely to experience psychosis and marijuana overdose than those who aren’t. Additionally, people with underlying mental disorders who use cannabis frequently are at a higher risk of experiencing psychosis.
What is Marijuana-Induced Psychosis?
Marijuana can be thought of as a catalyst that can contribute to the onset of psychiatric symptoms rather than a direct cause. However, this in no way means using marijuana is safe. For example, a study conducted on the link between marijuana and psychosis found a significantly increased prevalence of psychotic experiences in participants who were cannabis users. This finding is an important revelation, considering that 7.4% of people with psychotic experiences later developed a mental disorder.1 Even if a person stops using weed, they can still experience psychotic symptoms later in life.
Not only can natural marijuana cause psychosis, but “fake weed” or synthetic cannabinoids are also known to produce adverse side effects. Purchasing drugs off the streets or in an unregulated drug marketplace increases the likelihood of adverse side effects caused by unknown ingredients. Many drug dealers and distributors make drugs with additives that include random and harmful chemicals simply to save a buck on production costs. Synthetic weed is one of the various substances sold on the streets under the guise of cleaning products or other common household items to avoid legal detection. People often use drugs like this without knowing the chemicals they contain and the possible side effects.
Cannabis use disorder does exist. Marijuana can be addictive and produce various health problems like respiratory and lung diseases as well as poor cognitive function. Individuals struggling with addiction are encouraged to seek out a medically monitored detox and further addiction treatment, such as that offered at Banyan Treatment Centers, to begin their recovery.
Marijuana-Induced Psychosis Symptoms
A marijuana-induced psychosis is usually marked by symptoms like separation from reality or intense hallucinations and delusions. While the short-term effects of marijuana usually dissipate within a few hours, severe delusions and vivid hallucinations can persist for up to a week, month, or year.
Common symptoms of marijuana-induced psychosis include:
- Delusions (persistent belief or altered state of reality that one has despite contrary evidence)
- Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, smelling, or touching things that aren’t there)
- Difficulties concentrating
- Difficulties sleeping
- Out-of-body sensation
- Feeling out of touch with reality
Smoking marijuana causes psychosis in addition to a variety of other side effects. Synthetic cannabis (Spice) can produce similar symptoms, if not more intense ones. In addition, the unknown chemicals often used in fake weed can produce unpredictable side effects and even increase the likelihood of overdose and intoxication.
Despite the proposed therapeutic benefits of cannabis, any form of substance abuse is harmful and should be avoided. If you or someone you know is battling drug abuse or alcoholism, call Banyan now at 888-280-4763 for more information about the addiction treatment programs offered at our facilities.