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Study Finds Teen Marijuana Use Tied to Dramatic, Increased Risk of Psychosis

Teens who use marijuana are 11 times more likely to be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, a new study finds, NBC News reported.

The cannabis study, published Wednesday, was led by researchers from the University of Toronto and examined teenage patients who used marijuana within the last year and those who didn’t, according to NBC News.

When the marijuana study was limited further to teens who were sent to the emergency room or hospitalized, it showed a 27-fold increase in the likelihood of being diagnosed with psychotic illness.

“I think that there’s enough evidence out there for us to give recommendations that teens probably shouldn’t be using cannabis,” Andre McDonald, a postdoctoral research fellow at McMaster University and lead author of the study, told NBC.

“If we can somehow ask teens to delay their use until their brain has developed a little further, I think that would be good for public health,” McDonald said.

Although the research doesn’t prove that cannabis use by teens causes psychosis, Dr. Leslie Hulvershorn, a child psychiatrist who was not involved with the study, argues that it is unlikely that teens already were predisposed to these kinds of mental health issues, NBC reported.

The study noted that the risk of psychosis didn’t spike for users between ages 20 and 33.

Dr. Kevin Gray, a professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina who wasn’t part of the study, told NBC News that the increased risk of psychosis likely had to do with brain development at different stages of life.

“There’s something about that stage of brain development that we haven’t yet fully characterized—where there’s a window of time where cannabis use may increase the risk of psychosis,” Gray said. “This study really puts a fine point on delaying cannabis use until your 20s, [which] may mitigate one of the most potentially serious risks.”

Another study from July 2023 found that marijuana addiction made individuals four times more likely to be diagnosed later with bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms and two times more likely to be diagnosed with depression.

Recreational marijuana use has been legalized in 24 states and Washington, D.C. Thirteen states have legalized pot for medical use, according to CBS News.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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