Adolescents who use cannabis are at higher risk of psychotic disorders, according to new research

Adolescents who use cannabis are more likely to suffer from psychotic disorders, according to new research published in Psychological Medicine. Researchers analyzed data from more than 11,300 people between 12 and 24 years old from 2009 to 2012. They found adolescents between ages 12 and 19 who used cannabis have an 11 times higher risk of developing a psychotic disorder compared to those who don’t. However, that risk didn’t appear in those 20 to 33 years old.

“These implications are significant for public health and policy, particularly regarding adolescent cannabis use prevention,” researchers wrote.

The study supports previous research finding cannabis-related mental health issues. As Emily’s Hope previously reported, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine identified seven recognized disorders related to cannabis use, including cannabis-induced anxiety disorder, cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, cannabis-induced sleep disorder, and cannabis-induced delirium.

“There is a lot of misinformation in the public sphere about cannabis and its effects on psychological health, with many assuming that this drug is safe to use with no side effects,” Dr. David Gorelick, a UMSOM professor of psychiatry who wrote the review article, said.