Marijuana use during adolescence is highly correlated with an increased risk of developing a psychotic disorder, and marijuana is thought to play at least a partial causal role in this relationship.
In a study published today in JAMA Pediatrics, we found that among adolescents presenting for routine medical care who reported marijuana use in the past year, approximately four in 10 reported experiencing at least one psychotic symptom during or shortly after using marijuana. While the neurological mechanisms of these symptoms are not well understood, our findings are concerning and need to be studied further.
This study is the first to document the rate of psychotic symptoms experienced during marijuana use; our findings can be considered a baseline for comparison as the variety, strength and formulation of marijuana-based products proliferates.
Over recent years, big shifts in the marijuana landscape have made it easier than ever for American teens to be exposed to cannabis and to have the opportunity to use it.
Currently, only six states consider all forms of cannabis use to be illegal. Meanwhile, most states legally allow at least some medical cannabis use and several (including Massachusetts) have already legalized both medical and recreational use for adults.
But the legal system’s increasing support of cannabis and a rise in public approval of the drug has lowered the perception of risks associated with its use. As a result, in states where medical or recreational use for adults is legal, adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 are more likely to use cannabis than in states where all uses of the drug are illegal. …Read More
The retail sale of marijuana stands to normalize use, further reducing barriers to youth initiation and potentially decreasing adults’ concerns regarding marijuana use by adolescent children. Pediatricians are in a unique position to provide accurate information on the health effects of marijuana on the developing brain and to advise adolescents and their parents that from a health perspective, no use is best. …Read More
With laws at least partially legalizing marijuana in 23 states and the District of Columbia, it’s now a big business. What are the public health consequences of freely available weed — both acute and long-term? Are we making a big mistake here?