Marijuana and Schizophrenia – Part II

By Dr David laing Dawson

It struck me recently the reason marijuana has been such a popular recreational drug is that while it causes distortions in perception (time passing, speed, sound, colour, light, music, intensity, memory, touch, focus etc) thanks to THC, it also contains differing amounts of CBD, a potent anti-anxiety, anti-arousal agent.

Usually such distortions in perception, especially for the naïve user, would lead to anxiety, arousal, sometimes fear and panic, and could obviously hasten along an evolution to psychosis. And some people do report very negative experiences after smoking a joint.

Clearly it is the CBD portion of the drug that allows those perceptual distortions to be pleasurable.

I am absolutely sure that marijuana does not cause schizophrenia, but it could easily hasten it along, especially with heavy use. On the other hand CBD is an effective, and so far apparently safe, anti-anxiety drug and possibly safer for controlling anxiety than prescription lorazepam.

But, as I have pointed out to teenagers who asked for marijuana prescriptions to quell the pain of a breakup, impending exams, getting a part-time job, they should and need to be experiencing anxiety. Some anxiety is necessary for growth, for learning, for engaging with the world.

Many boys who smoke daily from, say age 16 to 23, are still obviously, in many ways, 16 when you meet them at 23.

CBD yes as a good medicine.

Marijuana in moderation, at least until achieving some level of maturity.

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2 thoughts on “Marijuana and Schizophrenia – Part II

  1. Yes it would seem that you are likely right on this.It has always seemed to me that it is part of the self medication equation.
    Alas it is putting more chemicals into a brain willy nilly without addressing more accurately the underlying fault in wiring. Taking Pot etc before the frontal lobe executive function is on its way to maturity is obviously running enormous risks for those who are prone to develop a psychotic illness. i believe that there is some evidence that Mepraquine ( the antimalarial) also screws up the brain. maybe also the St JOHns Wort for depression can cause a manic episode for those who will develop Bipolar ! .

    Like

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