Pot And Psychosis Go Hand-In-Hand In Teenagers

    December 26, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

It’s believed that psychosis is oftentimes a side effect of marijuana use. It’s considered especially prevalent in teenagers who use the drug. A recent study, however, has found that some teenagers use the drug to treat preexisting mental health conditions that fall under the psychosis moniker.

Reuters reports that a new Dutch study looked to map the relationship between pot use and psychosis in teenagers. The study’s lead author, Merel Griffith-Lendering, equated the question to asking which came first – the chicken or the egg? In other words, do teenagers developer psychosis from smoking pot or do teenagers smoke pot to treat psychosis? The interesting find is that both were happening at the same time.

The study surveyed over 2,000 Dutch teenagers who were aged 14, 16 and 19. The teenagers were questioned about their pot use, and then took a psychosis vulnerability test. The results found that those who smoked pot at age 16 developed psychotic tendencies by age 19. The reverse held true as those who exhibited psychotic tendencies at age 16 had started smoking pot by age 19. As is the case in most studies like this, correlation does not imply causation. The study’s authors say that genetics may play a role in the use of pot in teenagers.

So, what do the researchers have to say about their findings? Most agree that marijuana use is not harmless, especially in the developing brains of teenagers. Griffith-Lendering says that prevention programs should take this new found information into account when approaching marijuana use in teenagers. There are better ways to treat psychosis than drugs, and those who are already smoking pot should be made aware that they are at risk of developing psychotic tendencies, such as hallucinations and schizophrenia later in life.


  • turnzora09

    Take also into account the different mind sets of people. MJ will affect everyone differently. Just because you smoked when you were a teen doesn’t mean you will become psychotic. I know plenty of people who smoked when they were teens and still smoke today and they’re not psychotic.

  • Sam

    This is bullcrap! Look at what alcohol does to young people. You put this crap out there and it is a load of manure.

    • todd bachman

      forget the alcohol look at what oxycotin has done to people and is still doing but it is a legal drug with a prescription.

  • Eli

    Well this is complete garbage. Just because something seems like a real study doesn’t make it one. I’ve been smoking pot for half of my life and I only see fuzzy purple rabbits when I am on LSD or DMT, not walking down the street from residual pot effects. Pathetic to even talk about this.

    • Doug

      If you truly are a pothead, Eli, than the only thing pathetic is you.

      • http://webpronews Michael

        Doug, your momma was a pothead.

        • MotherofTeen

          Actually, I think Doug’s Mama was on something else cause he seems really “off”. I think maybe he should take a nice toke for himself, relax and appreciate the benefits.

      • http://yahoo BigRat

        Doug your an idiot, marijuana has been used in every culture since the beginning of recorded time. All you have to do is scroll up and read “veteran pot users” post and that will give you the true reason the U.S. government granted global control of a plant, that in all medical journals showed no signs, or direct corolation between Psychosis or any other mental derangement attributed to the use of Cannabis.

  • Bret

    If anyone wanted to know what the government was going to do about Washington and Colorado legalizing pot here it is,the stupid “scare” tactics and stories that say pot is bad cause they did their “scientific” tests that so many people think are real.They have put out alot of these “studies” since it became legal there and it will only get worse with the governments “facts” that they force down peoples throats to try to keep the sheeple in order.

  • Ben

    Dear Zach Walton,
    Dude c’mon…you’ve never smoked pot? my second question is, are you a psycho? Look I agree with one thing, teenagers shouldn’t be doing anything that that can alter their developing brains, including drinking or taking harsh pharmaceutical drugs. But I’m with Sam, this is just another tactic used to discredit marijuana, which happens to be a beneficial medical treatment for many people suffering from chronic conditions, and psychotic conditions. I don’t recall vodka, tequila or JELLO SHOTS! being beneficial for 16 year olds, yet nobody writes articles about that, or better yet how pharmaceutical drugs are causing serious mental conditions and health issues on developing children and their long term affects!

  • avrum

    this is total – unsubstantiated – bullshit

  • Tyler Schubert

    Studies have found as many as 90% of children have tried marijuana by age 19. so all kids are crazy? you cant have marijuana studies because everyone smokes weed. youd have to do individual analysis

    • http://msn Cade

      I know the studies of cigs are very bad but they are still for sale at the local corner store so why did they write this article ..

  • tyra

    My son was a freakin genius! He started smoking when he was 18, flipped out and was diagnosed as bipolar at 22.

    • Liz

      Reading this comment you made I am a mother that is going through the same thing my son was so smart got into pot smoking maybe other things too in collage and now at 20 years of age had a complete manic break and I dont know where he is. I am 56 years old and have know many pot smokers that this did not happen to it is just that depression and bi polar run in my family and I cant help but wonder did the drugs he used have anything to do with his break down. And I think that pot and other drugs have changed allot in the last 40 years

    • todd bachman

      yeah no I don’t think so. Marijuana does not cause bipolar or any thing else for that matter.

  • http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/14/nation/la-na-obama-legal-marijuana-20121215 Veteran Pot User

    Unfortunately, what you are reading is nothing more than conservative Propaganda as a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an issue.

    Matter of fact, this article is misleading and deny the medical benefits of this herb, just because the DEA has listed it as a Schedule 1 Drug. First of all, it is not Cocaine, Heroin. PCP, Meth or any other dangerous drug as claimed by this article or any branches of the U.S. Government.

    I am a child of the 60’s who started smoking POT at the age of 12 and during the course and scope of teenage years of smoking Marihuana, I have never developed this So Called Psychosis, in any way, shape or form… I grew up well adjusted and in Pacific Palisades, CA Now, as an adult, have a degree in Broadcasting – Journalism, Music & Film and currently successfully employed in the entertainment Industry.

    Cannabis Hemp was one of history’s most widely used plants. … When the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was formed in 1932, Mellon’s nephew Harry Anslinger and Newspaper Mogul William Randolph Hearst utilized uneducated facts and illiteriate and comtempious bias against the immigratiing Mexicans of the 1930’s. This undue corrupted influence on the Second, Congress enacted the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937 purely on speculation and prejudice against newly arriving immigrants from Mexico. Therefore, any contrived medical evidence against Marijuana is usurping the legitimate users with mere political garbage by pushing their narrow-minded Psychosis and Yellow Journalism to influence others, under the delusion of grandure that this hogwash article and/or cynical evidence proves that Marijuana is harmful…

    Evidendence of undue influence against Marijuana in the 1930’s: Some parties have argued that the aim of the Act was to reduce the size of the hemp industry largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family. The same parties have argued that with the invention of the decorticator, hemp had became a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry.[7][10] These parties argue that Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the Du Pont family’s new synthetic fiber, nylon, a fiber that was competing with hemp

    The narrow minded conservative are fighting a losing battle, State by U.S. State is slowly legaizing it and there is nothing you can do about it…
    – 30 –

    • MotherofTeen

      Thank you Veteran. I truely appreciate your factual statements here and being a fellow appreciator of marijuana. It has its wonderful qualities. I do believe it can make anyone a bit lazy at times however. Psychosis?? PLEASE PEOPLE!!!

      • eliot

        MoT, Enough with the conservative prop. pradle,when I and yourself smoked pot and we’re talking Colombian toke the side effects are minimal. todays weed IS too strong and damaging on teens minds.

    • Melanie


    • http://www.creepingsharia.com Isahiah62

      stop using this a political bash on conservs- many conservs even SARAH PALIN support legal marijuana- as I do- maybe try actually reading some conservs and realize not all of them are religious prohibitionists .

      DUTCH study- you will not find any more liberal lefties than Holland

  • Daniel Gonder

    First of all anything whether it’s weed, an illegal drug or a doctor prescribed medication can affect the developing young brain. The fact is the largest clinical study that has ever been undertaken has been going on since the thirties in this country. Even the jazz and blues musicians of the thirties used pot to relax. Over the decades in the US probably millions have tried Marijuana so volumes of data are present and ready to be analyzed by the academic community of any country on earth. To conclude that young weed users are at risk of developing psychotic tendencies, such as hallucinations and schizophrenia later in life from such a limited study is pretty weak. With legalization a reality in Washington and Colorado we can obtain even more data in the future. For now I don’t think a red alert is in order.

    • http://msn Cade

      Its funny ever since the talk of weed being legal there is a study out every week to say how bad it is when Cigs and Liquor kill people everyday and they are still on the shelves since we have real data already that cigs kill let start by making them illegal if the government really cared , they just want us to do their drugs any toher drugs are bad fr you lol try ours instead .

      • http://n/a david sheets

        This is a great comment. Never do they compare alcohol to pot. which is worse? You would have to consume over a pound of pot to overdose. Pot doesn’t effect the liver like alcohol. You must realize these people putting out this kind of information are paid to demonize Cannabis. So there is money currupting this information and therefore is unacceptable as fact. Anytime there is not a comparisom between pot and other substances the study is null and void. If you already don’t know money currupts every honest thing especially when it doesn’t profit wealth, or people of wealth.

    • todd bachman

      first of all the jazz players during the thirties were using heroin more so than weed

  • Becky

    my point is that with the school shooting i keep hearing that the mother buy’s her soiled notten kid these gun to make up for the parent’s divorce. or he was using it against her to get these thing’s and she gave in to him. i see kid’s play with there parents emotions all the time. and it sicken’s me to see the parents give into it. to me she is the one that was buying him all of these violent games and the gun’s. and not being a repondable parent and locking them up when she wasn’t there to supervise him. sence when has it not getting your way become a mental illenss. oh yeah when it became againt the law to discipline our children. and giving them every thing they want with out earn it first. i’m mental ill and i’m am thankful for my parent for sticking my nose in the corner when i got out of hand and made me think about what i did wrong and what i was going to do to make it right and the most important part is i learned not to that again. stop blaming us mental ill people who are on legal cannibis for a irresponsible parent.

  • ass ponk

    “It’s believed that psychosis is oftentimes a side effect of marijuana use.”

    By who?????? Fucking moron.

  • Nardo

    I first smoked pot in 72′ as an early teen and the homegrown made me faint. I hit the ground with a delayed realization of what had just happend seconds before. I came to in seconds and I was alright but the experience slowed my learning and focusning abilities. I’m still productive and a good person but I believe I could have gotten further in life without that bad choice as a kid.

    • http://msn Cade

      lol thats funny comment you made ..

    • Tommy Woosley

      u passed out from holding ur breath too long u dumass

    • todd bachman

      you’ve got to be kidding me

  • James

    The should have had a control study too, they should have asked these teenagers if they
    A) “were religious”
    B) “when was the last time they attended church”

    Then we could have seen if god protected them from being psychotic, you can bend the numbers any way you want, We can say “some one doesn’t like water so they drink nothing but soda, then they get diabetes, so logically water must have some anti diabetic properties we dont understand”

    • pot smoker

      you “god” put weed on this earth…..WHY CANT I USE IT?…..your god has nothing to do with this….i know of a drunk priest that rapped children….did your god want that?!??!? never heard of a stoned priest rapping anyone…..

  • A

    Canibus will always be deamonized by those who want to make money off trying to stop it. It’s no more “Psychotic” than alcohol .. talk about psychotic.. try a drunk teenager

    • http://n/a david sheets

      this is a good comment. it compares alcohol to pot. which is worse? You would have to consume over a pound of pot to overdose. Pot doesn’t effect the liver like alcohol. You must realize these people putting out this kind of information are paid to demonize Cannabis. So there is money currupting this information and there fore is unacceptable as fact.

    • MotherofTeen

      I’ve have experienced both a drunk & stoned teenager. All I can say is the “Drunk Teen Experience” was scary as hell for me (messy too) as a mother. The “Stoned Teen Experience”, although unacceptable, was much more tolerable. And if anything else, kinda comical. Anything altering the state of a developing mind is also altering the growth of that same mind.

  • MotherofTeen

    I say put a Proposition on the ballot that, if passed, would make the recreational use of alcohol and/or tobacco illegal. Watch it NOT pass…..because WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT IN CHARGE HERE…..Whats it really gonna take for most people to realize the obvious?!

  • http://pot&psychosisgohandinhand carlos

    thanks Tyra for speaking up for those whose pot use has had a negative
    impact on their mental health. I’ve known several people in my own life, even an attempted suicide. sure, I believe for most people it is
    harmless, but for those that react to it w/a psychotic episode, it can
    be devastating. just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it’s propaganda.

  • Kevin

    Very misleading headline… Even Fox says there are indications both ways, and including treatment for psychosis with cannabis.

    Seems to indicate an editorial axe to grind, or a complete absence of editorial oversight.

  • Vibes

    The conservatives are grabbing at straws. The more the masses really understand how harmless weed is the more the right and the desperate are going to come up with BS propaganda against weed.
    They say it is a gateway drug. Ridiculous. let’s see, most people drink Cocacola before they drink a beer, then a beer before ever smoking weed. Soft drinks are bad for you too. So let’s ban soft drinks and beer.
    I am sure studies will show that nearly 100% of teens drink those liquids before smoking a joint. I really hope the American public is not stupid enough to swallow this crap. When they figure out how to make billions on it like gas and oil, it will be legal. buttttt you can grow it yourself. The sun shines free all day long. That’s why the oil companies are not, as they say, investing billions in this alternative energy source. Pot cultivation can never be controlled. It’s all about the money. Many companies years ago have already filed patents for Marijuana ciggrette packaging. We could probably clear the deficit if pot were legal and taxed in all 50 states.

    • http://www.creepingsharia.com Isahiah62

      the study was by DUTCH people hardly conservatives- and FYI many conservs in USA are quite libertarian and support getting govt out of moral choices. We oppose the expensive unwinnable drug wars that are funding criminal enterprises and funneling $ and weapons into our society, funding Jihad, & making black kids murder each other.
      Our nation was founded on hemp growth- the founders had no issues with it- these are echoes of prohibition times which gave rise to organized crime

  • cat

    I know it causes psychosis in some MEN much less teens. I know a few men who get psychotic when they smoke it they TOLD ME and i’m antipot anyway. I’m 50 + years old, I also know it could be as bad as lots of alcohol or worse, but then alcohol is a DEPRESSANT and many groups become JEKYLL HYDE when drinking although its been around for weddings (Jesus first miracle; and there is wine called Sangria (another name for blood;sangre)). I even heard Pot goes into the scrotum which alcohol does not; it causes low sperm count, and many boys dont do good on it, women could smoke it and have fewer problems with grades, etc.–BTW, we were in better shape before the mainstreaming of this plant (it may be good for cancer patients)–could it be the reason many MEN seem more boyish than they used to be? because of POT? Besides, the parents of teens may be against it but GRANDMA AND GRANDPA SMOKE IT and gave it to them for CHRISTMAS when their parents are against it–this is almost 45 years so far

    OTOH, i dont trust certain drugs like antidepressants, etc. could it be when people take BOTH of them together, that we create monsters? like suicidal maniacs who want to take many with them out of this world? like Adam Lanza?

  • Deb

    I watched a beautiful, gifted and intelligent teenage step-son lose his ability to focus and organize his thoughts after using pot from age 11-14. He came to live in our home where we did not allow pot smoking (mainly because it was illegal- I am not against making it legal for all the reasons Doug gave and other medical reasons) However, my son lost his ability to socialize with others and eventually became psychotic. He did start to use other drugs as he got older. I think it definitely has to do with the developing brain and also has to do with excessive use. Nothing can take away the pain my husband and I endured trying to help ease his loneliness and return to a “normal” life. He lives at age 42 in a group home. I think children should be protected. An adult can make up his own mind. Kids are vulnerable.

  • Chris

    My field of expertise. Pot use is linked to psychosis about the way cars are linked to hot chicks. Sometimes there’s a corralation then sometimes there’s just not. I will say this, if a child IS on path in developing psychosis are is displaying psychotic behavior, pot is the pat on the back in the direction of being cured. Let’s not confuse attention span with awareness here. If an attention span is dwindling, pot usually is simply the question mark at the end of a long sentence. If you have a child on pot my advice would be to talk to the child and not to the pot.

    • Deb

      I am confused by “pot is pat on the back to being cured”. Are you saying that pot is a cure for psychosis? My son’s brilliance and attention span was never reduced. He just was unable to connect to the adult world, meaning able to take care of himself through work. For example, he was a fantastic musician, but could not work through business arrangements or show up on time for work, etc. You could talk until exhausted and this would not help him at all. Just one example I realize, but this also became my field of expertise and I have seen this disorganization and inability to focus with many others.

  • Rm Mc

    Oh right. Find another reason to demonize marijuana. Anything used in excess will have consquences, even too much peanut butter. Enough tests have been done with pot that indicate it’s far less harmful than the scourge of alcohol.

  • Old Hippie

    OH NO Reefer Madness!!!!

  • sam

    thats funny, everyone is looking for excuses on why weed is bad but these excuses come from people whom support liquer and tobacco…boose n tobacco kills countless amounts of kids n adults everyday but it remains legal…. why is this so? how many reports of death are caused by weed? not many at all… in fact those reported deaths were due to a health problem…i have lost many friends to alcoholism, young and old, but it still remains legal… and psychosis.. lol explain to me what normal is! We all have problems and addictions, whether our addiction is money or candy or sex…etc.. the problem is that everyone wants to point out other persons problems or addictions rather their own…. you i can assure you that smoking weed is a whole lot safer than drinking beer, smoking tobacco, or even stepping outside your door on a day to day basis… they are scared you’ll actually find that it is more medicinal than all those pills they are using that causes ten times the symptoms than the one its designed to cure…the meds u take to cure yourself is also the meds that are causing you more problems or even so YOUR DEATH… don’t beleive so then do your own research and try and find more than ten hazardous to your health reasons of why weed is bad to your health that are proven… BET U CANT…. so wake up… you guys are worried about the wrong things in life

  • sam

    im sorry i wasnt finished, the tiny green people in my house took my computer away from me, its ok now tho i smoked a joint and the aliens came and kicked their asses for messin with me lmao… life is great

  • Tom White

    It seems that there are two sides to this argument. Those who partake of the “weed” and those who don’t. Those who do partake do so to “get high” “relax” “let go of their reality” or whatever you want to call it. They draw comparisons to alcohol, someone even stated above “that pot is just as bad as alcohol and alcohol is legal”. Poor argument if you ask me. There are many deaths attributed to alcohol each year, many of them teens. I would not compare the two unless it is to draw a line that states that pot is not as bad as alcohol. The next group seems to be made up of those who have watched someone destroy their life or their future through the use of pot. The response that comes from the pot users is name calling and belittling. How is that an open honest debate on this issue? I am for freedom of people of a mature age to choose as long as it does not cause injury or damage to others. You are not allowed to drink and drive, don’t imbibe pot and be in control of a motor vehicle. You are not allowed to be drunk in public, then you cannot be stoned in public. you cannot sell alcohol without a license then the same goes for pot. No underage drinking – no underage partaking of pot. You are not allowed to brew alcohol for sale neither shall you grow pot for sale. You cannot transport an open container of alcohol therefore you should not have an open baggie or container of weed. No more buying from the dealer down the street, you will pay whatever price is deemed by the marketer. Can you live with this? I mean after all these years of getting your weed from yourself or Joe blow down the block at a minimal cost are you willing to pay the higher prices that will be charged along with the taxes imposed? You want it legal? Then it becomes someone elses property and Uncle Sam will always get his cut. When all this comes to pass and individual incidents allows the producers, marketers and government to raise prices and add laws to its comsumption, you will need to remind yourself that this is what you wanted, you asked, no demanded this. I wish you the best.

  • http://pot&psychosisgohandinhand lljflk

    Liz&Deb, very sorry about your sons. don’t let all the nay sayers invalidate your experience. I too have known people whose pot use triggered mental illness. they were perfectly normal prior. I think
    those w/a genetic predisposition are most vulnerable. just because the
    majority of pot users don’t suffer any ill effects doesn’t mean that
    it doesn’t happen to others.

  • Robert in Canada

    Common sense an research strongly indicates that pot affects mental wellness, although some who are hooked on pot dispute that.

    But there should be no doubt at all (even to those who are high on pot) that smoking pot harms your lungs.

    The absolute fact is that inhaling smoke deeply into your lungs on purpose is harmful – period.

  • http://www.creepingsharia.com Isahiah62

    this study ignores the AGE-Psychosis correlations- well known to any one who has studied mental health- Many psychoses commonly onset at that age into early 20’s, such as schizophrenia- without any drug use in the history

  • Lebb

    President Obama was once a pot smoking teen who used to insist that each window in the car had to be rolled all the way up when pot smoking was going on, so as to not waste the smoke. His friends lived to tell the tale, and he lived to become President of the USA. How psychotic is that?

    • http://www.scoop.it/t/dirty-mouth-full-poem Freelancelot

      Emperor Dumbo (O’Bahbah) IS psychotic.

    • http://yahoo.com RobM

      Of course that justifies drug use. If Barack Obama did it when he was young, then that is a perfect reason to promote smoking pot and not be concerned with the increase in psychosis, personal loss of ambition or driving under the influence, etc.
      It is not a drug that affects your mind or thinking, that is the reason why so many people use it, and it should be part of a healthy life for everyone.
      Is that the simple-minded, adolescent discussion going on here?

  • Rebecca

    A lot of genius people are mentally ill. Just do the research and you will discover there are many in history, including Van Gogh, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Martin Ramirez, Elliott Smith, Michelangelo, Amy Tan, Woody Allen, Kurt Vonnegut, Beethoven and more. The person who said her kid was a genius and then became bipolar,,, Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder and the new and politically correct term for what they used to call manic depression. People don’t become depressed or psychotic simply from smoking pot or consuming thc-infused baked goods. Most people with bipolar disorder develop it in their late teen or early adult years. The fact that they may have also been using marijuana is coincidental, and marijuana is not a cause of this brain disorder. The effects of pot and other drugs are said to be stronger in those with a lower or higher than normal level of serotonin, like people with ADHD, depression, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, etc. However, there have been no medical or scientific links between these disorders and hallucinations caused by ingestion of thc.

    • http://www.scoop.it/t/dirty-mouth-full-poem Freelancelot

      Genius is with madness near allied. Neuropsychologically.

      There is one difference between the genius and the mentally ill person. The mentally ill person is unable, or is no longer able, to close and open the door at will on the super-abundance of universal stimuli which flows into and through the mind of the genius. The genius opens and closes the door at will. Sometimes with difficulty, but always at will.