Study: Pot Psychosis May Be Genetic

Marijuana use may be a risk factor in developing schizophrenia and psychotic disorders for people with a certain gene, according to new research.


Here’s some interesting research in HealthDay, given the recent legalization in Colorado and Washington…

The growing acceptance of medical and recreational marijuana means more people will be at risk for cannabis-induced psychosis, the researchers noted. They also said there is emerging evidence that marijuana use during adolescence may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, a serious psychotic disorder.

The study of more than 700 people focused on the AKT1 gene. It’s involved in dopamine signaling, which is known to be abnormal in psychosis. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in mental health.

“We found that cannabis users who carry a particular variant in the AKT1 gene had a twofold increased probability of a psychotic disorder and this increased up to sevenfold if they used cannabis daily,” wrote Dr. Marta Di Forti, of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry in England, and colleagues. “Our findings help to explain why one cannabis user develops psychosis while his friends continue smoking without problems.”

The findings were published in Biological Psychiatry.

Stacy Johnson

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