More than half of U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes, fueling the public perception that pot isn’t dangerous. While marijuana use is not as dangerous as illicit drugs like heroin and meth, that doesn’t mean smoking, vaping or eating it has no ill effects. Medical researchers are now sounding the alarm about the link between frequent marijuana use and the chances of having a psychotic episode. Read on to learn more about marijuana-induced psychosis.
What Is a Psychotic Episode?
Psychosis is a medical term that indicates a break with reality, and any substance that alters brain chemistry can cause it. Someone in the grip of a psychotic episode may see or hear things that are not there and harbor delusional beliefs that do not align with real-world phenomena.
Psychosis can be terrifying to experience. Out of fright and confusion, a person having a psychotic break can lash out and hurt themselves or others. Psychosis is not an illness in and of itself, but rather a symptom of other mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, BPD and substance use.
What Does Research Tell Us?
Several studies suggest a connection between frequent pot use and a correspondingly higher risk of psychosis. One 2019 study published in The Lancet Psychiatry shows daily use of marijuana, especially high-potency strains, increases a person’s odds of having a psychotic episode.
The study authors defined high-potency cannabis to be products with more than 10% THC, the compound that creates the drug’s characteristic psychoactive effects. The discovery that there’s an increased risk of psychosis when consuming high-THC cannabis products is especially disturbing, because these products are so readily available in many dispensaries.
Many young men regularly smoke marijuana or use cannabis-infused products like tinctures or gummies. If you have ever had psychosis symptoms after taking marijuana or you frequently self-medicate your mental health with cannabis products, you may be using potentially dangerous high-THC strains.
Marijuana-Induced Psychosis Treatment for Young Men
While marijuana-induced psychosis can be alarming – especially if you use marijuana to relax – it is treatable. PACE Recovery’s CARF-accredited residential mental health treatment program offers evidence-based therapies and clinical treatments geared specifically toward helping young men learn to live healthy, productive lives.
Our master’s- and doctorate-level clinicians offer evidence-based techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and processing. Each of these clinical practices has proven effective for treating various psychiatric disorders.
Additionally, we have created a men’s-only environment that is especially conducive to recovering from substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Instead of reinforcing the toxic mindset that men should hide their emotions, we encourage our clients to openly express themselves. Here, you will find a sense of camaraderie and openness around dealing with mental health challenges and coping with complex feelings. To learn more about our California treatment center, contact us today.