VIDEO: New study on cannabis use and schizophrenia
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Young men with cannabis (marijuana) use disorder have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, according to a study led by researchers at the Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health.
The study, published in Psychological Medicine analyzed detailed health records data spanning 5 decades and representing more than 6 million people in Denmark to estimate the fraction of schizophrenia cases that could be attributed to cannabis use disorder on the population level.
Researchers found strong evidence of an association between the disorder and schizophrenia among men and women, though the association was much stronger among young men.
Using statistical models, the study authors estimated that as many as 30% of cases of schizophrenia among men aged 21-30 might have been prevented by averting cannabis use disorder.
Cannabis use and schizophrenia are serious, but treatable, mental disorders that can profoundly impact people’s lives.
People with the disorder are unable to stop using cannabis despite it causing negative consequences in their lives.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality, and the symptoms of schizophrenia can make it difficult to participate in usual, everyday activities.
Previous studies indicate that rates of daily or near daily cannabis use, cannabis use disorder, and new schizophrenia diagnoses are higher among men than women, and that early, frequent cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia.
However, few studies have examined differences in the relationship between cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia across different sex and age groups at the population level.