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Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the exceeding-expectations dept.

Medicine 382

An anonymous reader writes "Reuters reports, 'In a study of adults who experienced psychosis for the first time, having smoked marijuana daily was linked to an earlier age of onset of the disorder.' ..."This is not a study about the association between cannabis and psychosis, but about the association between specific patterns of cannabis use ... and an earlier onset of psychotic disorders,' Dr. Marta Di Forti, who led the research at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, said in an email. Among more than 400 people in South London admitted to hospitals with a diagnosed psychotic episode, the study team found the heaviest smokers of high-potency cannabis averaged about six years younger than patients who had not been smoking pot. Psychosis is a general term for a loss of reality, and is associated with several psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. ... "The thorny question is whether they might otherwise have developed the disease or would have not had mental illness. It's a distinction we haven't figured out yet," Compton said. ... It is still unclear whether there are safe levels of use for cannabis, she added. '"

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Cause and effect may be backwards (5, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 8 months ago | (#45927335)

Perhaps these folks were smoking that much pot as a coping means ("self medicating") because of their troubles, rather than pot causing the troubles

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (5, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 8 months ago | (#45927383)

I'm afraid that doesn't fit the narrative.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 8 months ago | (#45927457)

How do you figure that? I'm pretty sure that these conditions exist in some state prior to one's first episode. There's also the fact that this particular pattern might select itself for certain demographics more than others, and the environment they are in might contain factors that do influence this.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927615)

methinks your sarcasm detector is busted.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 8 months ago | (#45927659)

> methinks your sarcasm detector is busted.

Too much pot perhaps?

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (5, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | about 8 months ago | (#45927697)

Marijuana use has increased drastically since the 1920's, from thousands to millions. There is no corresponding increase in psychosis. Does that fit your narrative?

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 months ago | (#45927723)

There is no corresponding increase in psychosis.

And you know this exactly how?

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (5, Interesting)

Curtman (556920) | about 8 months ago | (#45927831)

It's been documented in may places.

Decline in the Incidence of Schizophrenia in Finnish Cohorts Born From 1954 to 1965 [jamanetwork.com]

If there was a causal link between marijuana use and schizophrenia for example, there would be an increase that could be shown in historical data. The evidence instead suggests that maybe some people have been successful at self-medicating.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (1)

zakeria (1031430) | about 8 months ago | (#45927999)

by users!

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (4, Insightful)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 8 months ago | (#45928041)

Not necessarily. It could be that marijuana increase schizophrenia, and some other factor decreases schizophrenia fore than marijuana increases it. I'm not saying this is the case, but you can't just look at a period where schizophrenia decreased and say that everything that increased in that time period can't be increasing schizophrenia.

Re: Cause and effect may be backwards (1, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 8 months ago | (#45927729)

Let's be fair here. In the 1920s up through the 1950s/1960s, it was fairly common for a man to have a bitchy wife be committed to a mental hospital, and in the 1940s/1950s they were even labotomized for "anxiety and agitation".

There may have, in fact, been lower rates of psychosis in the 1920s onwards until the 1960s/1970s, but given the diagnoses at the time, it'd hard to ever be sure or be able to draw a direct comparison.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (-1, Flamebait)

Shinobi (19308) | about 8 months ago | (#45927389)

Junkie propaganda like that is just laughable...

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927531)

Actually... it's turning out that a significant percentage of the population are 'self-medicating' with cannabis and don't even know it.

Your subconscious can be stronger than your programming. Cannabis helps that come about as well.

Face it. We've been lied to for over 70+ years and now the "Correct" information is beginning to flow again. Say different and you'll find out why not in enough time to make it hurt.

Keep it Clean! :D

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927547)

A) It's proven that people with mental illness do tend to self medicate.

B) x -> y DOES NOT MEAN y -> x i.e. If many people that have experienced a psychotic episode smoked pot, it does NOT mean smoking pot increases the likelihood of psychotic episodes.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927691)

It is well known that pot use is a trigger to schizophrenia in a significant chunk of the population.

http://www.schizophrenia.com/prevention/streetdrugs.html [schizophrenia.com]

Of course, pot junkies will say "correlation is not causation" or similar diatribe deniers are using to justify their "misunderstanding" of science. And that's no surprise, they are junkies. Just like alcoholics will say they don't have a problem with alcohol.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45927733)

The actual studies show that pot use can bring on the symptoms sooner than non pot smokers. No where in the research does it show that pot use causes schizophrenia. Ive written research projects on this in the past. This new research seems to back that earlier research up quite nicely however

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927435)

No no no, this is a medical condition known as "Reefer Madness." It also causes you to sleep with black men and get knocked up with mullato babies, embrace communism and start acting like a swish.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (5, Funny)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 8 months ago | (#45927553)

oh, yes, 1936.

"Marihuana turns you GAY!!"

Well, fuck me, as long as that's all it does...

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (5, Informative)

Zakabog (603757) | about 8 months ago | (#45927601)

From the article -

But the evidence has been unclear. For example, one recent study from the Netherlands found it's equally possible that people prone to psychosis may be more likely to smoke pot, possibly as a way of "self-medicating" (see Reuters Health article of December 25, 2012, here: http://reut.rs/1d7aIvU [reut.rs] )

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#45927607)

Perhaps they became paranoid because "the man" was really out to get them.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 8 months ago | (#45927631)

Perhaps these folks were smoking that much pot as a coping means ("self medicating") because of their troubles, rather than pot causing the troubles

Possibly, but that doesn't fully explain why people who smoked pot at an earlier age (under 15) were more likely to have psychotic episodes at an earlier age, nor why those who smoked stronger pot in larger quantities were also more likely to experience such episodes. The study found both effects [oxfordjournals.org] . And since the study focused on people who had psychotic episodes in the first place (i.e. people who likely had mental issues to start with), it's unlikely self-medication is the explanation. Possible, of course, but unlikely.

Obviously, we'd need a study that has people smoke pot with a control group that doesn't smoke pot to be sure, but that might never happen due to legal and ethical concerns.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (2)

MisterSquid (231834) | about 8 months ago | (#45927667)

Perhaps these folks were smoking that much pot as a coping means ("self medicating") because of their troubles, rather than pot causing the troubles

Already mentioned in TFA:

But the evidence has been unclear. For example, one recent study from the Netherlands found it's equally possible that people prone to psychosis may be more likely to smoke pot, possibly as a way of "self-medicating" (see Reuters Health article of December 25, 2012, here: http://reut.rs/1d7aIvU [reut.rs] )

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927693)

I used to smoke pot a lot in my mid teens (in the 80's). One time I had a very scary panic attack while in school after smoking some at the bus stop. I didn't know it was a panic attack at the time because I never had one and did not know what the hell was going on. I was able to play it off as I was just sick but it scared the shit out of me and they sent me home. Where I lived people were more accepting of pot use so the school nurse probably suspected drugs but just let it ride. My mom knew I smoked pot and I talked to her about it and she explained what she thought had happened. None of the others that smoked that same pot that morning had any problems so I know it was not spiked with something else. I smoked pot for about the six months but I did not like to if there was a chance I'd be by myself since I associated the panic attack with the pot. I made my friends were going to be staying around or we were doing something in a group. About 6 months later I eventually just quit doing it and haven't touched it or anything except alcohol since. I don't think it was the pot that caused my "problem", probably just made a problem I had worse. At the time, my dad had just died from cancer, it was close to Christmas, I had basically stopped going to school, my mom was in total shambles from my dads death, my paretns business was about to fold without my dad being around, there was a lot going on I was probably under a lot of stress. I went almost 25 years until I had my next panic attack. Turns out my mom and sister both have them. My mom worse. A lot of people have various levels of panic attacks, I did not know that until I started poking around and lightly touching on the subject with some friends and trusted co-workers.

Re:Cause and effect may be backwards (2, Informative)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 8 months ago | (#45927923)

This just in:

Heavy adolescent pot use (particularly the high-potency "purple erkle thunderskunk" variety) can cause the premature loss of the ability to form paragraphs.

(sorry, but I couldn't resist)

Hey DICE how much is s story on slashdot?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927933)

brought to you by the "Partnership for a Drug-Free America" and a bunch of DEA agents fearing for their job security.

Re:Hey DICE how much is s story on slashdot?? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#45928067)

a couple hundred bucks.

same as a story about an Osama bin Laden avatar being used in online games to recruit terrorists.

Self medication (0, Redundant)

starworks5 (139327) | about 8 months ago | (#45927349)

Many people who have psychotic episodes, feel the need to prevent those psychotic episodes, and will be "self medicating" themselves. Its similar to saying that people who take lithium salts are more likely to develop psychosis, while there may certainly be a causation there is no correlation. This is why we have twin studies after all.

This just in... (4, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 8 months ago | (#45927351)

People with addictive personalities more prone to mental problems. Who'd have thunk?

Re:This just in... (4, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 8 months ago | (#45927467)

People with addictive personalities more prone to mental problems. Who'd have thunk?

Or , ya know, you could actually read the article. Its not about how prone someone is, its when the symptoms start. Schizophrenia shows early symptoms in childhood, and if you've got it, you will succumb to psychosis eventually. Whats happening here is the pot smokers are succumbing earlier. This wont affect most people, but those who are succeptible, perhaps pots a bad idea. The trick scientifically is identifying those in danger.

Re:This just in... (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#45927633)

But, is it the THC, or the lack of social support and constant surreptitious activity required to obtain and use pot that leads to earlier onset?

Put another way, would the same thing have been found in a study of alcohol use during prohibition? Or, will the same study replicated today in Colorado, have different findings?

 

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45928013)

THIS! When I smoked pot I used to be a little more paronoid about getting busted than anything else. MY eyes would get red and I would worry about people noticing that I was high and therefore doing something illegal.

Re:This just in... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 8 months ago | (#45927671)

Or , ya know, you could actually read the article. Its not about how prone someone is, its when the symptoms start. Schizophrenia shows early symptoms in childhood, and if you've got it, you will succumb to psychosis eventually.

Hhhm, I didn't see that in the article.

in the context of society.. (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#45927359)

..there probably isn't a "safe use level".

however, and here is the big thing, the thing to test against should be daily alcohol use of comparable amount - or if possible, test against whichever it is the people choose if they have both options available.

though, I'd reckon that if you're likely to have psychosis of some sort you're already more likely to be choosing to be a fucking _daily_ pot smoker for 20 years - if you get little crazy from being high 20 years that's not even news - but that is not the point, you go pretty fucked just from drinking 8 beers a day for 20 years too...

Re:in the context of society.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927605)

Though I agree with your approach here, doesn't this just suggest that cannabis should be regulated as least as heavily as beer, even if it is legalised?

Such as, being arrested for being high while driving? Not selling to under a certain age? Being treated as an "addict" if you have more than X amount of consumption (alcohol isn't "addictive" in the same way as cannabis, I assume from a background of absolutely zero knowledge)? It being frowned upon to be high in public?

And, additionally, as it's comparable to smoking tobacco (though statistically less damaging directly), should it not be being illegal to smoke it in public places, enclosed spaces etc.?

The problem I have is that it probably IS less damaging that some of the things we have considered "acceptable" today. But that doesn't mean it should be unregulated even if legalised either. And I'm sure people would moan like hell if you legalised it but had to buy cannabis in specialist stores, children couldn't be exposed to the packaging or fumes, you could be arrested for being high (not even GETTING high, but just being high) in public etc.

I'm not sure that the legalisation in such an environment is actually worth the effort, given the regulation that it would have to undergo to match equivalent (or "better") such substances. Especially when, in general, we are going the other way as a society - in my country the alcohol laws are a lot stricter than they were when I was a kid.

My theoretical solution for a lot of things is "legalise it, tax it, regulate it" - a solution that cuts out a lot of the problems of illicit SUPPLY (which is the main problem with such things), not illicit, personal substance abuse. But I'm just not sure that approach is worth the gain for something like cannabis.

Re:in the context of society.. (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#45927879)

Such as, being arrested for being high while driving?

You will get arrested if a cop catches you high while driving. Impaired driving is illegal (even if it's from a completely legal substance, such as sleeping pills, or from nothing but overwhelming anger at your neighbor).

Re:in the context of society.. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#45927641)

There certainly wasn't a "safe use level" of LSD - just ask the Dead Heads serving mandatory minimum sentences.

Re:in the context of society.. (2)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 8 months ago | (#45927725)

I think I'd rather ask Dr. Leary or Dr. Hofmann.

Who both and independently not only worked out the threshold dose through self-experimentation, using the same methods they also discovered what are even now considered the Holy Bible of lethal dose and one of the few successful chemical interventions to treat alcoholism.

Re:in the context of society.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927789)

Ah... I wondered who figured out that the lethal dose of LSD was exactly the amount it takes to drown in it.

Re:in the context of society.. (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 8 months ago | (#45927843)

yeah that was pretty much it according to Hoffman. He was all but drinking the stuff neat and all it was doing to him was intensifying the experience.

Re:in the context of society.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927911)

It is still unclear whether there are unsafe levels of use for cannabis

..there probably isn't a "unsafe use level".

Double-FTFY-whammy!

Coincidentally? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927371)

This research coincides with Colorado's legalized recreational pot laws. Funny how that happens.

Re:Coincidentally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927399)

Are you saying these British researchers care about Colorado politics?

Re:EU Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927489)

The British People...

Re:Coincidentally? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 8 months ago | (#45927625)

They hate how the Coloradians (-ers? -oans?) pronounce the name.

Re:Coincidentally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927881)

They hate how the Coloradians (-ers? -oans?) pronounce the name.

It's spelled Coloradans.
SB (From Colorado)

Re:Coincidentally? (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 8 months ago | (#45928033)

They hate how the Coloradians (-ers? -oans?) pronounce the name.

It's spelled Coloradans. SB (From Colorado)

Are you sure it's not just "Coloreds"?

Reefer madness? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927403)

It's strange timing that this study is being released around the time Colorado has fully legalized pot, Washington is well on their way to doing so, and you can get "medical marijuana" in other states.

I'm not sure what the motivation is. Personally, I don't see a very good future for the middle class (automation of pretty much every job is coming,) so it would seem that it would be in everyone's best interest to keep most of the unemployed population stoned every day to reduce petty crime. I guess I'm just a pessimist though.

The whole war on drugs thing just needs to be dropped. Let everyone have whatever they want and plow the money you were putting into police and prisons into treatment programs for people who voluntarily want to stop.

CAPTCHA: syringe. Holy coincidence!

Re:Reefer madness? (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#45927449)

The whole war on drugs thing just needs to be dropped.

Why do you want to kill a golden goose? Join the dark side of prohibition and make billions.

Re:Reefer madness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927475)

Clearly there's more interest now that laws against pot are being loosened or eliminated.

Frankly, this "timing is a big fucking conspiracy" card is tedious, which we also see played e.g. by the NRA when tighter gun control laws are proposed after a mass shooting incident. Same thing with AGW, after a destructive hurricane or storm. There is never an "ideal time" to report study results. People who disagree should respond to the substance of the study, including its methodologies and perhaps on the legitimacy of the data. Not "gee why alla sudden so much interest in this seems funny doncha think?"

Re:Reefer madness? (2, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | about 8 months ago | (#45927507)

Personally, I don't see a very good future for the middle class (automation of pretty much every job is coming,)

Not so much automation as executive greed. The superrich have created a system where not only do they not have to worry about the state of the society in which they live, but where they profit in times of booms and busts. Reap the windfall of the housing boom, get bailed out when it tanks, and then snap up real estate to resell or rent.

Re:Reefer madness? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#45927581)

The superrich have created a system where not only do they not have to worry about the state of the society in which they live, but where they profit in times of booms and busts.

That's one of the ways in which capitalism is inherently unfair anyway. The more money you have, the more money you can make, leading to a runaway condition.

Re:Reefer madness? (1, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 months ago | (#45927779)

capitalism is inherently unfair

Yes, capitalism is unfair. Sadly, all other economic systems -- when implemented in large scale, and in the real world -- are even less fair. Otherwise, the Soviet Union would have survived while the US collapsed.

Re:Reefer madness? (3, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about 8 months ago | (#45928051)

Yes, capitalism is unfair. Sadly, all other economic systems -- when implemented in large scale, and in the real world -- are even less fair. Otherwise, the Soviet Union would have survived while the US collapsed.

So maximum fairness is the same as maximum efficiency, the only difference between SU and US was the economic system, and there are only two possible economic systems?

Nice logic.

Re:Reefer madness? (2, Informative)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#45927649)

Climate deniers aren't the only ones who cherry-pick "scientific studies" for publicity campaigns.

Re:Reefer madness? (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 8 months ago | (#45927757)

I'm sorry, but I'm not going to start using the latest study on the feeding habits of the lesser spotted hippokangorocibull to debunk that which has already been debunked just to satisfy your preposterous appetite for the absurd.

Re:Reefer madness? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927785)

Says the Warmist who probably points to every gust of wind as a sign of the Earth's imminent destruction.

Re:Reefer madness? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#45927901)

Two things:

1) There have always been marijuana studies (see here for a sampling [procon.org] ). You must not have noticed them before.
2) You will see more studies in the future, because with it legalized, it is easier to study.

As an Urban/Suburban Paramedic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927415)

I found street drug use patterns similar to those in affluent neighborhoods where people were able to legally access healthcare and meds provided by prescription.
Since normal pain and mood/mind meds are simply unavailable legally to the lower percentile of US society they are forced into the underground economy.
Simple substitution economics.
The difference is one group often got hauled away to the clink and the other got ambu-cabbed off to a comfortable hospital room.

Re:As an Urban/Suburban Paramedic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927687)

Those prescribed meds can be much worse for the individual, but they bring in massive profits and that is what it's all about.

adding up (2, Insightful)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 8 months ago | (#45927419)

Figure adding oxidant stress and hallucinogens on top of self selection, combined with a reporting bias. Honest study would give us better information to choose exposures and risks as individuals. Drug prohibition was a failure, as is a welfare state.

Source data for this study? (5, Interesting)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 8 months ago | (#45927453)

From TFA: [yahoo.com]

The researchers surveyed 410 patients between the ages of 18 and 65, two thirds of them male, all of whom had a psychotic episode and were admitted to in-patient psychiatric units.

I'm not a statisticianololgist, but passing out surveys to psychotic people in a mental hospital doesn't seem to me to be the best way to gather accurate data for a study.

Re:Source data for this study? (5, Funny)

MisterSquid (231834) | about 8 months ago | (#45927701)

From TFA: [yahoo.com]

The researchers surveyed 410 patients between the ages of 18 and 65, two thirds of them male, all of whom had a psychotic episode and were admitted to in-patient psychiatric units.

I'm not a statisticianololgist, but passing out surveys to psychotic people in a mental hospital doesn't seem to me to be the best way to gather accurate data for a study.

This study's major flaw is that the researchers needed 10 more patients to pass the threshold for statistical relevance.

Re:Source data for this study? (1)

DaTrueDave (992134) | about 8 months ago | (#45927985)

No mod points, but I don't understand how you're not already at +5 Funny...

Re:Source data for this study? (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 8 months ago | (#45927873)

I'm not a statisticianololgist

There's actually a job where you study people who do statistics?

Re:Source data for this study? (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 8 months ago | (#45927929)

Why are people who don't design surveys so ready to believe that people that DO design surveys have *never thought* that the respondent may be unreliable?

Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927461)

I feel like even with the disclaimer that the study isn't meant to be one of a link between cannabis use and psychosis that this will be ignored and the study will be repurposed as if it were.

Sounds right. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927463)

Pot won't make you crazy. But it does bring the crazy to the top.
You were crazy to begin with. It just wasn't noticable.

I've seen this in some people i used to smoke with.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 8 months ago | (#45927771)

all it brings to the top in me is the urge to drink ludicrous amounts of lucozade.

Maybe I have two things... latent crazy carpentry addiction and hypoglycaemia.

PROHIBITION is the cause of Ultra-Low CBD Cannabis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927473)

Cannabis itself and smoking daily is not the issue.

The issue here is that the pressures of prohibition have caused the breeding of cannabis to produce ultra-high THC strains that have little to no CBD at all. CBD is the cannabinoid that counteracts the 'psychosis' factor of THC.

Eat too much Marinol and the same thing happens. Too much THC with no CBD.

I have an article covering this very subject at thecleangame .net /2013/10/prohibition-causes-psychosis/

Don't let them fool you people, we've been lied to for over 70 years now.

Keep it Clean! :D

Until I saw the word 'marijuana' in the blurb... (0)

shoor (33382) | about 8 months ago | (#45927495)

When I saw 'daily pot use' I thought first of cooking pots, that maybe this was some anthropological post about when humans first started cooking, then I thought maybe it was about sitting instead of squatting when answering a certain call of nature (also anthropological, presumably the 'pot' method can lead to varicose veins in the legs, so why not other things.)

But I guess your average slashdotter would assume 'pot' was for good old Mary Jane.

Worthless and inconclusive research, I'm afraid... (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | about 8 months ago | (#45927501)

And this is because this research doesn't answer the following question:

Can we be sure that even though psychosis manifested itself earlier in the subject population, it (psychosis), still maifested itself later in this particular group?

In otherwords, can we be sure that pot use in this specific group didn't delay psychosis even though on average, psychosis came earlier as compared to the other group?

I know of folks who use pot daily. They are now in their late 90s. One could argue that pot is responsible for their delayed psychosis if at all, no?

Re:Worthless and inconclusive research, I'm afraid (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#45927699)

There is never certainty for causation, only coincidence in correlation - collect enough coincidences and even critics concede and concur.

Re:Worthless and inconclusive research, I'm afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927807)

Inconclusive, not worthless.

Re:Worthless and inconclusive research, I'm afraid (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 8 months ago | (#45927811)

Not worthless, but I agree they weren't ready for peer review yet (or the long knives at /.) I agree they need to complete the comparisons with the particular groups and see if that leads to different conclusions.

When I smoked pot in high school, it was fairly intense and scary, and I never had the slightest desire to use it every day. I would wonder whether people with early signs of psychosis simply find it less strange and less frightening. Simply not as different an experience. By analogy, Eskimos don't necessarily enjoy the cold more, but might be less likely to be alarmed at experiencing cold. Kids who have been spanked tend to be less afraid of being in fights. Kids whose brains behave weirdly are less likely to fear mind altering experiences. Etc.

Re:Worthless and inconclusive research, I'm afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927997)

In otherwords, can we be sure

In statistics, you are never sure, you are just correct with a certain margin of error.

I know of folks who use pot daily. They are now in their late 90s. One could argue that pot is responsible for their delayed psychosis if at all, no?

Likewise, you could argue that pot actually prevents psychosis. You could argue that pot extends life. You could argue that smoking pot daily is a psychosis in itself. You could argue that nobody ever landed on the moon, and that Elvis is still alive. Most people would probably recognize you as someone who just likes to argue for the sake of argument though. Certainly nobody would take you serious, since you have no data to corroborate your argument, and your argument implies that everyone eventually gets a psychosis (which is demonstrably false).

Yes ! We're getting close to an answer here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927505)

Cannabis use skyrocketed in the last decades, but the psychotic disorders prevalence curve didn't follow the weed consumption.
Yet, doctors still see weed-induced psychotic episodes. Patients are smoking more than the general population, and those who smoke usually smoke a lot (I'm a med student I've seen this myself).
So doctors are still wondering what is the impact of cannabis use, and the main hypothesis in the medical community is that it hastens the onset of the disease and makes it more severe.
I have nothing against people who smoke weed. A lot of my friends smoke. A lot of doctors smoke during parties, gatherings, etc. But, when it comes to doing your job, you look at the patient's habits (what they eat, what they drink, which substances they use) and you see that nearly half of the patients smoke weed regularly?! Well you HAVE to look for answers if you want to help your fellow human being.

Correlation not cauation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927513)

"Among more than 400 people in South London admitted to hospitals with a diagnosed psychotic episode"

Hey, look, the MDs confuse correlation for causation again.

thorny question ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927521)

That is nonsense. It only is thorny if you plan to take "war-on-drug" type actions if such a relation is confirmed.

The thorny part mostly being the fact that we seem to be highly selective in our choices of unhealthy behaviors we choose to vigorously combat.

Alcohol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927527)

Alcohol usage is also tied to an earlier onset of psychosis.. It is almost certainly the general substance induce brain chemistry change, which might simply causally show an earlier psychosis onset. But that does not indicate the various product *causes* the psychosis. It only shows an underliyng problem earlier.

Something that feels good (0)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 8 months ago | (#45927533)

is going to have negative side effects in some people. With marijuana, the chances are very low. I think Bob Saget said it best when he said: "Marijuana is not a drug. I used to suck dick for coke. ("I seen him!") That's an addiction, man. You ever suck some dick for marijuana?" (Huh!?)

Daily OTC use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927557)

I wish as many studies were done on common OTC medicines and vitamins as were done on pot. What happens when you take daily "energy vitamins" supplements for 20 years? What if that's mixed with aspirin and some of other "herbal" stuff people can buy from any Wal*Mart to try and self-medicate their problems?

People should know the effects of marijuana by now. If you ingest it every day there are probably consequences. It's not a secret. It's been pretty well documented

People don't know what 300% vitamin B / guarana / ginseng / whatever does over 20 years though and they probably never will. But that's okay somehow because those things are regulated.

It's stupid. It's just stupid.

Some noted pothead psychos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927583)

Just off the top of my head (I googled only to get the full names), the Tsaernev brothers (Boston Marathon bombing), Jared Loughner (Gabby Giffords shooting), James Holmes (Aurora CO theater massacre). Note these were all fairly young men.

OTOH Newtown shooter Adam Lanza was apparently clean - no drugs or alcohol.

Yeah, that doesn't prove anything, but when deciding on public policy or voting for/against elected officials who will, you aren't going to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt for most matters of interest.

Propaganda from Team Tony Blair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927611)

When Blair first came to power, he tore up the entire existing power structure in the UK, and placed his loyalists at the head of every significant body, political, social, religious, business, etc. Today Blair's iron grip over the UK makes Putin's grip of Russia seem laughable in comparison.

Blair uses various forms of social theme to bond his lower level operatives- people frequently trained and recruited via Blair's COMMON PURPOSE organisation. One of these themes is a strong bias AGAINST cannabis use. This has nothing to do with whether pot is good or bad, safe or dangerous. This is a theme used to bind certain types of 'useful' idiots that are found in present day British society. You see Putin doing the same thing with so-called anti-homosexual initiatives (actually Putin's Russia is FAR friendlier to gay Russians than any previous regime). But Putin knows the anti-gay sentiment is strong in various types of people that are useful to recruit to his cause, so he exploits the mechanism while strongly believing the opposite.

Britain has long fallen prey to what are known in the UK as the "CHATTERING CLASSES". This means people of significant societal influence (when considered across their total numbers) who love to DRIBBLE on and on about the latest 'concern' of the day. Media campaigns whip these morons into a frenzy of "we must do something about this" activity.

North Korea famously has pot use completely legal- for the same 'reason', Blair wants the UK to actually have pot use more 'CRIMINAL' than before. You see, it isn't about the 'use' of cannabis, but the response of the sheeple to the THOUGHT of cannabis use. In the UK, making the use of drugs a political football is like putting grit on a road- it creates more political 'traction' for team Blair- traction Blair can use to advance the agendas he really cares about- like a massive expansion of Britain's police State, helping lay down the frameworks needed for Blair's goal of a new World War.

Bravo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927621)

I just want to say that as a frequent Slashdot lurker, I have seen some really awful submissions that got posted to the front page, in which the summary barely describes the article, etc. This is NOT one of them. This is a subject which is easily subject to bias and assumptions, yet the summary of the article clearly states what is and is not conveyed by the article. So again, Bravo, submitter.

Reefer Madness (1)

FredGauss (3087275) | about 8 months ago | (#45927655)

There has been evidence of this association floating around for ages. On the balance of evidence there may be reason for concern, but in particular as with anything in medicine, the right decision for any individual may come from presence of the right (or wrong) risk factors.

See e.g. : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121114083928.htm [sciencedaily.com] http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2012/01/11/the-neuroscience-of-pot-researchers-explain-why-marijuana-may-bring-serenity-or-psychosis/ [forbes.com]

One factor that would seem to be relevant is the proportion of THC and cannabidiol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol) present in plant strains, and change in ratios from decades past as plant breeding has changed the landscape of what effects may be expected from a particular plant.

The extreme reaction of "Reefer Madness" is almost certainly misguided, but there is reason to suggest that more science is needed towards ascertaining that the full benefits may be had, and risk factors removed (e.g. via genetic tests and controlled breeding/testing of plant strains) whether for medicinal purposes or otherwise.

Been there (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 8 months ago | (#45927669)

So if I've already had my psychotic episode is it ok if I smoke?

Before the haters come (2)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 8 months ago | (#45927715)

I'd like to point out that, while I'm definitely lazier as a pothead, my instance count of psychotic episodes on average has dropped significantly. Like, I still need a low dose Buproprion that I'm not proud of, but pot brings about a mental stability (so long as it's not abused) that's just outright unmatched for some of us not born w/ all our neural systems up & running.

It's all about the money and the politics. (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 8 months ago | (#45927735)

Illegal drugs make it easy for the police to plant evidence and pick up anyone at any time. The high prices that result from the illegality keep the cartels in business, which in turn, keeps congressional campaign coffers funded.

If those in the federal government didn't know how unpleasant things are likely to get in the near future, there would be no legal pot in Colorado or anywhere else. It's now more valuable as a control tool. Should the economy tank, there will soon be cheap pot everywhere.

Maybe the weed (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 8 months ago | (#45927769)

slowed down the onset of psychosis in the ones who got it and with out it they would have gotten it earlier. What if the rolling paper caused it or what if the pesticides did it?

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927781)

I don't really care if pot smokers are morons because they smoke pot or if they are pot smokers because they are morons.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45928009)

...said the moron listening to music and using the Internet.

I'm a programmer in Silicon Valley, and a pot smoking musician in my spare time. I make a lot of moronic money, with my moronic brain.
Most of the moron programmers I know here moronically smoke pot, and most of my moron musician friends moronically smoke pot.
So if you really hate morons, then please stop listening to music and using the Internet. Thank you.

Oh wait...what's that? I see. You actually will continue reaping the benefits of said morons your whole life. But it makes you feel good to insult people on /.

--Moron

Mental Health and vested interests (1)

John Allsup (987) | about 8 months ago | (#45927897)

It's well known that Mental Health is dominated in many ways by vested economic and political interests.  It would be nice for the anti-drug lobby if research showed that drugs cause MH problems, so there is funding for that.  It would be nice for Big Pharma if clinical trials show their next wonder drug works.  Thus funding appears for such trials, and the ones with the desired results get published whilst others get shelved (though they need to take care not to make this too obvious).  Then occasionally (like Western Lapland), things get done differently, with better results than the medication heavy Western approach, and do the medical science research community clamour to reproduce and investigate?  That is not to mention the occasional meta-analysis that correlates a drug trial's sponsor to the best remedy in the trial...  Pot is a bogeyman for politicians to campaign against, and isn't a moneymaker for Big Pharma, nor can it be patented, so it's in their best interest if as much anti-pot research is produced.  Basic politics and economics when you get down to it, and the 'science' bit in medical science needs to be take with a truckload of salt when it comes to Mental Health.  Health in that context also needs a similar dose of salt, since drugged-up zombies with no motivation, poor physical drive, poor quality of life and a chemically supressed emotional system that can't drive them hard enough to do something about it... are deemed to be 'well, compliant with treatment, etc.' whereas someone with better physical health, who is motivated to get on with their life, but doesn't rely heavily on strong tranquilising drugs often has this non-reliance put down as a 'risk factor'.

Paranoid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927931)

I think I have to blame my Credit Card for my mental issues, and I have become quite paranoid lately, imagining debt collectors around every corner. I think I need another bottle of Jack to get me through another day.

safe levels of cannabis usage (1)

hism (561757) | about 8 months ago | (#45927939)

It is still unclear whether there are dangerous levels of use for cannabis, she added.

Fixed that for ya.

Yes and no... (4, Interesting)

f3rret (1776822) | about 8 months ago | (#45927965)

While I am all for legalizing it, the article does have a point.

I recall at least one British study looking at the link between cannabis and psychosis that found that strains with a high THC/other canabinoids ratio would cause tests subjects to score higher on at least one standard test questionnaire for psychosis, while subjects injected with a more 'natural' blend of THC and other canabinoids would tend to get a psychosis score not much different from them being sober.

The conclusion as I recall was that there is some evidence that strains bred specifically for a high THC content could be more likely to cause psychotic event or temporary psychosis-like states.
BBC did a documentary that filmed part of said study, here it is: http://youtu.be/ZGr0ne9FHOM [youtu.be]

i used to smoke a lot of weed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927975)

i was paranoid, depressed and had extreme social anxiety. i don't think weed should be illegal, but the truth is, smoking weed all the fucking time does make you pretty lame. i think if they just legalized the crap and made it about as edgy as coffee people would lose interest.

Merely having the opinion that your cannabis use.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45928019)

Is intentional, justified, beneficial and a not a mental health issue qualifies as psychosis to modern psychiatry.

Skewed Results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45928021)

We have radio based weapon systems being used in the EU and US which can cause psychosis-like incidents. Until these incidents are accounted for, it will be difficult to use any data recorded by front line services for scientific purposes.

Re:Skewed Results (1)

koan (80826) | about 8 months ago | (#45928057)

You got a link for that? It better not be rense.com.

Pot? (4, Informative)

koan (80826) | about 8 months ago | (#45928053)

Some of these guys are smoking high quality oil on titanium nails, that shit is potent (having smoked it myself) I stay away from it because it makes me useless, and then it makes my tolerance so high I can only get a buzz eating a 500mg 5150 bar.

Just wait, someone is going to get it down to a THC powder, and then...

I quit smoking not too long ago, I had sweats, irritability, and sleeplessness for ~2 weeks, this isn't 1960's pot.

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