Marijuana Smoking Linked to Mental Illness

A new meta-analysis of research involving 20,000 patients has shown that people who smoke marijuana could develop psychosis (an abnormal condition of the mind characterized as a loss of contact with reality and sometimes including hallucinations, delusions and disordered thoughts) 2.7 years earlier than those who don’t smoke marijuana.

The research was a review of 83 previous studies on the relationship between substance abuse and psychotic illness. “Heavy cannabis use starting at a young age carries a very much greater risk than modest use as an adult,” said study author Dr. Matthew Large. (Source: Youth need to be made aware of the risk associated with smoking marijuana, along with other risk factors for psychotic disorders, a general category which includes schizophrenia.

The study also looked at alcohol use and the onset of psychosis, but did not observe it accelerated the condition’s starting point.

Cheryl M. Corcoran, MD, a researcher from Columbia University commented on the research, saying “This is a very comprehensive study; the authors paid very close attention to methodological issues and considered several important factors in a very sophisticated manner, such as the proportion of males in the different studies.” (Source: She also said the study does not prove smoking marijuana alone causes psychosis.

It might be that youth suffering from the symptoms of psychosis are drawn to a substance that seems to alleviate some of their pain, without having to face the stigma of mental illness and the involvement of parents or the medical establishment. Another factor could be they find some acceptance in a sub-culture with its own self-medicating practices, music, style of dress and jargon, because psychosis can result in extreme social isolation.

Previous research has indicated there could be a link between the onset of schizophrenia and regular marijuana smoking: “Researchers in New Zealand found that those who used cannabis by the age of 15 were more than three times (300 percent) more likely to develop illnesses such as schizophrenia.” (Source:

The recent tragedy in Arizona involved a young adult shooter who has been speculated to suffer from schizophrenia, and was reportedly a regular marijuana user. Most people suffering from mental illness don’t ever resort to such actions, but if undiagnosed and untreated it can progress to a point of violent behavior.

Image Credit: Bogdan

Helping Kids Cope Without Antidepressants
6 Ways to Help People with Mental Illness


Julli R.
.1 years ago

This text may be value everyone’s attention. How will I learn more? Kayfun V4

Renee Rekceb
Renee Rekceb3 years ago

But it feels soooo good to be insane, hehe

Renee Rekceb
Renee Rekceb3 years ago

Any mind altering substance that plays with the mind can cause psychosis!

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Diane L.
Diane L.3 years ago

Yeah, right, Elaine A. Like Jake Richardson's article from 2 years ago is medical proof of anything, nor is Jake an expert on much besides how to post comments in Care.2 on subjects he has no knowledge or expertise on, in any way, shape or form. Jake's jumped the gun with posting articles in Care.2 several times, even admitting he'd gotten his "information" from local news sources and hadn't bothered checking out the facts before re-posting in Care.2. Try again.

Diane L.
Diane L.3 years ago

"I was in Hospital in 2002 and I met a young man ,I found out he had a growth on his brain from smoking Marijuana,,coulden't operate because it was on the brain , so , "...........Paul M, and you know this just HOW? You "met" a young man who had a growth on his brain (they're called tumors, BTW) and his doctors shared their private information with you, just WHY? No doctor knows what causes a brain tumor so don't try to fill us with the fear-mongering. Your delusions are just that and they're ludicrous.

Dee D.
Dolores D.3 years ago

Why doesn't this surprise me?

janice letellier
janice l.3 years ago

ya right

paul m.
paul m.3 years ago

Too right,,,I was in Hospital in 2002 and I met a young man ,I found out he had a growth on his brain from smoking Marijuana,,coulden't operate because it was on the brain , so ,
" radio " was the only option, I feel sorry for people who wish to legalize any drug.

John M.
John M.3 years ago

any mind altering substance that plays with the mind can cause psychosis, dope, psychotropics, amphetamines, ice, etc, alcohol doesn't play with the mind as much as drugs do, as in psychosis, but that's another story, this story is about gunga, but that,s the decoy, because all of these drugs, especially psychotropics, will twist your brain, especially in the first three months of use, if it/drugs don't send you into a severe psychosis, then you might be able to cope with the drug in the right amounts for you, the individual, if you cant then that makes you you, just the way it is, some of us can , some of us cant, i worked my way through it, kept on pulling pipes untill whatever the feeling i used to feel uncomfortable with dissapeared, but i did other things to keep me up and positive like , working, playing sport, a young person doing the same not working playing sport, and with no oither supports, might get into more trouble, there are too many reasons why some dont cope, but either way take away the drugs, dont add drugs to taking away drugs like psychiatric psychotrippers, the feeling from those is worse than any other feeling for most, and you dont need a tag, you just need to stop whats no good for you, the same with a drunk, you cant help a drunk, they have to help themselves, a good start is getting the bottle out of the hand,anyway the younger the mind, the more susceptible to mind effect, psychosis, paranoia, etc, and manipulation by the mental health squad, this