While there are clearly medical benefits to pot, marijuana-induced psychosis is not one of them.
Researchers have been studying the relationship between cannabis and psychosis for decades. Several studies over the last several years have concluded that users who are predisposed to mental disorders are more likely to develop psychosis symptoms. They have also found that psychosis develops earlier in marijuana users.
“I think it’s kind of inherent,” said Dr. Scott Krakower, a psychiatrist at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York, of the link between cannabis and the onset of psychosis. Krakower has never met Fuentes. “The more you smoke, the more that psychosis is going to continue.”
‘We can now confidently tell our patients with psychosis that giving up cannabis will probably reduce positive symptoms and will help prevent relapse.’
The latest study on the subject — a meta-analysis of 24 studies consisting of more than 16,000 patients — found a strong association between continued cannabis use and relapses experienced by people who have been diagnosed with psychosis or similar symptoms. There was also a strong link between cannabis use and longer hospital stays in patients who used cannabis compared to those who either didn’t or had stopped using it.
This stuck in my mind for all these years after I read “Eden Express,” by Mark Vonnegut (Kurt’s son). Mark was undiagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffered a psychotic break brought on by smoking pot — which no one believed. He’s a doctor now.