Does Marijuana Cause Mental Illness?
Congratulations to California.
One more state to legalize the recreational use of Marijuana. The Pot Train shows no signs of slowing down and while many are rejoicing, medical professionals everywhere are shaking their heads in disbelief. While there’s no doubt that weed can help ail the pains of cancer sufferers and others with serious medical conditions, there’s a huge pink elephant in the room with a big pink sign telling everyone that pot causes mental illness, paranoia and a whole host of other issues that have been proven to some degree.
Pot Pushers fear not, this article has no hidden agenda nor is there any political undertones within. Whilst we might change some opinion, our words are unlikely to change any laws or slow down the movement. So, read on with an open and ‘clear’ mind.
The medical research behind marijuana is complex. There’s still a lot of unknowns, but a lot of clear established research. Perhaps the easiest way to portray the question is – ‘If you knew that taking a drug could damage your health and speed up potential for causing psychosis, would you take the drug?’ Similar as smoking cigarettes, drinking excessive alcohol or taking any other banned substance.
The reality is that the evidence is clear. In a 2014 study, it was determined that if you smoke cannabis regularly, you are 40% more likely to develop schizophrenia than someone who doesn’t. It’s also well known that using cannabis with an existing psychotic disorder will make the symptoms even worse, versus calming or combat them.
We take a look at a few stories from Medical workers and their experience with patients and their reactions to the ever popular drug.
I’ll never understand societies obsession with this drug. I’ve had nothing but stupid or bad experiences with it. I’ve seen people withdraw from weed. Severe mood swings, irritability and aggression. I know more people addicted to MJ than I do alcohol. Also in my personal life I find those closest to me and their constant need to smoke way more annoying than those who want to drink every once in while. Like it dictates their day entirely. Where are they going to get it, do they have enough, oh no they have to go a week without it. If I talked and acted like that about wine I’d probably be forced to go to AA, but because it’s weed it’s the holy grail that miraculously cures everything 🙄
I just don’t get it.
I worked inpatient psych for almost a year with children AND adults, and never saw, nor was told about psychosis caused by cannabis. I know many people who use cannabis that have never used hard drugs. I know people that have used cannabis to get OFF hard drugs. I know it is fantastical to believe, but many people function in society BECAUSE of cannabis. Pot smokers who were going to be lazy human beings with or without weed do not reflect the diversity of the people that use cannabis for medical or *gasp* recreational reasons. Its perfectly acceptable for people to get wasted in this society and no one blinks an eye. My worst patient code ever was a woman who had no liver function left after years of drinking. She died bleeding even from her PORES. From good old fashioned socially acceptable alcohol.
I have worked primarily with the geriatric population in my 8 years as an RN, and I never saw a single patient suffering from the “long term effects” of cannabis. None. Not one.
Futhermore, after DNA testing to see why nothing she prescribed him would work (for treatment resistant PTSD) my husband’s former psychiatrist recommended he use cannabis, off the record, because we dont live in a medicinal cannabis state. “Legal” drugs caused him psychotic episodes, in addition to the crippling anxiety and depression, because he is a rapid metabolizer.
We ended up going to South America for a reboot, because we live in AL, and we are law abiding citizens. But that is another story altogether.
From my observation of several pot smokers, every single one of them suffers from some form of abnormal behaviour. They began their use, many years ago and are now in their forties and fifties with one aged sixty. They appear to lose all motivation to work, long time, stopping and starting different things, that is, if they even bother. They make poor friends as they can never be relied upon therefore socially, they are lacking any cohesion. One man has even been jailed for making inappropriate advances to teenage girls, imagining himself to be someone other than he is….diminished self reflection. The sixty year old is a grandmother who has trouble making adult decisions and relies on others to look after her, financially and physically. I am talking about seven people here who began using weed in their late teens, early twenties when their frontal cortex was still maturing. Knowing these people and observing their constant ‘stuff-ups’ has convinced me that while Marijuana may have its use for ill people, as a regularly used substance, particularly by young people, it causes devastating, sometimes subtle effects on the brain and mental health. I will NEVER change my mind.
If you use it as needed, for medication, no. If you use it 24/7 to get high, it could potentially over years and years. Just like any carbon-dioxide you inhale, it is harmful. Luckily there are like 28$7288374 ways to consume it. 100% in favor of medical legalization.
What at are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
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By Scrubs Staff