Marijuana and Schizophrenia

Marijuana and Schizophrenia: Helpful or Harmful?

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Scientific research has recently connected marijuana to a number of health advantages, from treating PTSD to easing chronic pain. Cannabis is not a cure-all, though, and it can exacerbate the symptoms of some mental illnesses, like schizophrenia. Therefore, before beginning to use medical marijuana to treat schizophrenia, it is always recommended to speak with a medical marijuana doctor

It’s hard to tell how much these symptoms are getting worse, but experts advise people with schizophrenia not to use marijuana and to stick to pure or high-CBD products instead.

Understanding Schizophrenia

Less than 1% of Americans suffer from schizophrenia, a rare and persistent mental illness. Though studies indicate a combination of genetic, environmental, physical, and psychological factors combine to increase an individual’s risk of developing the condition, the exact cause is unknown. Although schizophrenia frequently runs in families, it has been difficult to pinpoint the precise genes or genetic mutations that cause the disorder. Some believe that changes in glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine, and serotonin pathology contribute to schizophrenia.

When two of the following symptoms of schizophrenia last for more than six months, a diagnosis is made:

  • Trouble thinking
  • Lack of motivation
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speaking, behavior, or thoughts

Schizophrenia has no known cure, but new and safe treatments have been developed to lessen the chance of psychotic symptoms. Recent research on brain imaging methods, genetics, and behavioral studies has revealed some insights into the disease’s etiology.

Schizophrenia is a complicated illness, and many people have misconceptions about it. Research indicates that while it affects men and women equally, men typically experience its onset earlier. Furthermore, those who suffer from this illness do not possess multiple personalities and do not pose a greater threat to society than the average person.

Can schizophrenia qualify for medical marijuana treatment?

Research suggests that marijuana use may be a contributing factor to the development of schizophrenia in people who are predisposed to the illness. A comprehensive analysis of multiple studies revealed that some reported marijuana, and more especially THC, to worsen the disease’s adverse symptoms, while others claimed it accelerated the disease’s onset. According to the discussion, the onset of schizophrenia is described as occurring on a spectrum, with paranoia associated with cannabis use disorder eventually leading to more psychotic episodes of full-blown schizophrenia.

Although there is currently insufficient evidence to determine the precise mechanics of the relationship, genetic theories have been put forth. Studies reveal that an increased risk of psychotic symptoms is associated with variants in genes related to dopamine signaling or degradation. If these people routinely used cannabis, their risk of developing psychosis was seven times higher than that of non-users.

In any state where medical marijuana is legal, schizophrenia is not included as a qualifying condition for the drug, nor is it advised for those who already have a diagnosis due to the causal relationship and effect on symptoms. However, you can consult a medical marijuana doctor. Should he determine that your condition is incapacitating, he is entitled to suggest medical marijuana for your problems. He will also give you an MMJ Card, which enables you to lawfully access, possess, and buy marijuana from dispensaries with state licenses. 

The pros and cons of using cannabis for schizophrenia


Remarkably, other research has discovered that the effect of marijuana on people who are at risk of developing a mental health disorder depends on the THC-to-CBD ratio. It seems that strains with high levels of CBD may be more effective in treating schizophrenia, even in the early stages of the illness. This could have something to do with how CBD affects the body’s endocannabinoid system. While THC acts on the CB1 receptors, it also functions as an antagonist and blocks them. Similar mechanisms of action are shared by some of the most widely used antipsychotic drugs, such as dopamine receptor antagonists. Compared to standard prescriptions, patients receiving CBD treatment as an antipsychotic reported fewer side effects.

While THC in particular is not advised for patients with schizophrenia, it’s interesting to note that other cannabinoids, terpenes, and CBD that are isolated from the compound may have more beneficial effects. In this vein, though, a great deal more research is required.

Since tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) exerts its antipsychotic effects through serotonin receptors, it is theoretically helpful in managing conditions where psychosis may be a problem. To ascertain dosage and the percentages of the population it may assist or impede in developing psychosis, more research is necessary.


Cannabis use disorder can be brought on by psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia, so people who have these conditions should abstain from cannabis as it may exacerbate their symptoms. Younger cannabis users have an increased chance of experiencing mental health issues in the future. Cannabis use is more likely to cause bipolar disorder or schizophrenia if there is a family history of mental illnesses.

Navigating Marijuana Use with Schizophrenia: Practical Tips

First and foremost, for those who are more susceptible, medical marijuana can exacerbate the symptoms of schizophrenia and cause the illness to manifest. But compared to other antipsychotic medications, cannabis has a lot of advantages and fewer side effects, so there might be some justification to look into cannabis for these specific medical conditions.

If you must use marijuana, concentrate on strains or products with pure or high CBD content; stay as far away from THC as you can. As was already mentioned, they have different effects on the endocannabinoid system than THC but still have a number of health advantages. The anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may lessen more severe symptoms and enable patients to return to their regular activities.

There may be more medicinal advantages for other terpenes and cannabinoids, but there is a dearth of research in this area. It’s critical to discuss your unique mental health issue with your doctor and learn how the cannabis plant can best meet your needs.

Final Words!

In summary, if you or a loved one suffers from schizophrenia, it is best to avoid using marijuana. Marijuana use can accelerate the onset of psychotic disorders in young individuals and exacerbate their negative effects. If you have schizophrenia and would like to try cannabis, stay away from THC-containing cannabis products and concentrate on CBD or other terpene options.

Also Read: How Do Businesses Advertise for Cannabis?



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