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Cannabis and psychosis link confirmed

Using cannabis in teenage years or as a young adult can increase the risk of psychosis, one new report has suggested.

The study, which was published by the British Medical Journal, tracked 1,900 people over 10 years. While the link between marijuana and psychosis has been well-established for a number of years, it was previously unclear whether cannabis actually triggers the disorder.

The research strongly suggests cannabis use comes first, instead of people taking it for the symptoms they have. The research was conducted by Jim van Os, a professor at Maastricht University in Holland, and he was aided by researchers from the UK, Germany, and Switzerland.

They made a point of excluding anyone who reported that they had used cannabis use or had any pre-existing psychotic symptoms before the beginning of the study, carried out in Germany.

The participants for the study, who were aged from 14 to 24 years old, were assessed for use of cannabis and psychotic symptoms at different stages over the measured period of 10 years.

The report found that cannabis use has significantly increased risks of psychotic symptoms, regardless of socio-economic status, different drugs being used simultaneously, and other psychiatric conditions.

Around three years ago, the then-in-power Labour government made cannabis a Class B drug again, which was against the advice given by its own drug advisers. They collectively said that cannabis played just a modest role in psychotic illnesses and their development.



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