***Post provided by Servio Carroll, Awards Chair for WSPA***

The article can be found at Medscape. It order to access it, you need to complete the free registration process.

Cannabis use directly increases the risk for psychosis in teen, new research suggests.

Earlier research studies have reported that cannabis use by adolescents with a family history of schizophrenia are more inclined to develop this disorder.  The results of a large prospective study of teens by Patricia J. Conrod, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, Canada shows that “in adolescent cannabis use is harmful” with respect to psychosis risk. The study published online June 6 in JAMA Psychiatry reported that “the effect was observed for the entire cohort.” Dr. Conrod’s finding means that “all young cannabis users face psychosis risk, not just those with a family history of schizophrenia or a biological factor that increases their susceptibility to the effects of cannabis.” The study included 3720 adolescents with a mean age of 12.8 years which were followed with an annual self-report survey for four years. This survey sought confidential information from the participants measuring cannabis use and psychosis symptoms, leading to the conclusion that cannabis use, in any given year, predicted an increase in psychosis symptoms reported 12 months later. (Conrod, 2018).

Focusing on adolescents, this study is important because it counters the often heard argument that cannabis use is harmless.