Archive for category Cannabis'

Cannabis and Chronic Non-Schizophrenic Psychoses

On the basis of their studies, some researchers have maintained that cannabis smoking can also give rise to longer-lived psychoses, sometimes referred to as “cannabis psychoses”. The conditions in question have been psychoses whose clinical picture has differed in certain respects from that of schizophrenia. Still, despite the fact that studies have been carried out which support this position, the overall impression is that there is not sufficient evidence to support the existence of this alleged side-effect of cannabis smoking. In other words: what appears to be a separate type of functional psychosis is probably schizophrenia. A number of scientific studies have been carried out to answer the question of whether cannabis smoking can provoke long-lived, possibly chronic, psychoses. This, then, does not refer to a toxic psychosis which is maintained by means of continued cannabis smoking, but rather to psychotic conditions which remain after the toxic effect has ceased, often for a long period of time unless the condition is stopped through successful treatment. Simplifying slightly, it can be said that these reports and the discussions that they have given rise to have dealt with two different questions: a) Read more […]

Cannabis Psychosis

Cannabis smoking, especially of preparations with a high concentration of THC, can cause a toxic and short-lived (between a few days and six weeks) psychosis. Not infrequently, this psychosis has dramatic symptoms and requires hospitalisation, sometimes under constraint. If the individual concerned stops smoking, the condition has a good prognosis. If he or she continues to use cannabis, however, the psychotic condition can probably remain for a very long time. Different assessments and calculations to determine the frequency of this side-effect have yielded surprisingly similar results. As a “rule of thumb” it is considered that, on average, a person who smokes cannabis runs a 10 per cent risk of being affected at one time or another by cannabis psychosis or delirium. Toxic cannabis-caused short-lived psychosis can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the toxic cannabis-caused delirium described above; moreover, in the initial stage, the two conditions sometimes merge into each other. The essential difference between the delirium and the psychosis is the clouding of consciousness that accompanies the del irium; in the psychotic condition, the individual’s consciousness is by and large clear. Since Read more […]

Cannabis-Caused Delirium (Acute Confusional State)

Cannabis smoking can cause an acute and short-lasting (between a few hours and a few days) state of profound delirium. The individuals affected experience complete or partial loss of their orientational ability, their memory and their sense of their own identity. An element of delirium is a common occurrence in cannabis psychosis. This condition is probably more likely to arise if high doses of THC are involved or if the individual is in a weakened condition, for example owing to lack of sleep or to withdrawal symptoms relating to alcohol or other drugs. Certain experts have calculated that delirium or cannabis psychosis occurs at one time or another in 10 per cent of all cannabis abusers. There is widespread agreement that the use of cannabis, especially in high doses, can cause delirium (), which is also known as acute brain syndrome or delirium. This is a short-lived condition, lasting from a few hours up to a few days. One characteristic of this condition is unclear consciousness: the persons affected have difficulty with spatial and temporal orientation, are unable to perceive correctly the situation in which they find themselves, and may fail to recognise close acquaintances. Not infrequently, this condition Read more […]

Cannabis and Psychose

A great many studies show that the group of cannabis smokers exhibits an increased prevalence both of psychotic symptoms and of short-lived psychotic illness in the strict sense. Cannabis smoking can cause psychosis, activate latent psychosis and exacerbate manifest psychotic conditions. This post discusses the following relationships between cannabis smoking and (near-) psychotic conditions: – Cannabis-caused delirium (acute confusional state) – Cannabis-caused toxic psychosis (cannabis psychosis) – Cannabis-caused functional – non-schizophrenic – psychosis – Can cannabis smoking cause schizophrenia? – Interaction between the effects of cannabis and manifest schizophrenia The interaction of cannabis with psychotic conditions is doubtless one of the most alarming aspects of what is gathered under the heading “harmful effects of cannabis”. I will here report on the prevailing scientific view of this interaction. Occasionally, I will also take my own clinical experience into account. The principal point to be made, though, is that several studies have found not only a statistical association but also a causal link between cannabis smoking and psychoses or psychotic symptoms. At Read more […]