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Marijuana and Madness: Associations Between Cannabinoids and Psychosis

  • Mohini Ranganathan
    Affiliations
    Psychiatry Service, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven

    Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, Connecticut

    Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    Search for articles by this author
  • Patrick D. Skosnik
    Affiliations
    Psychiatry Service, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven

    Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, Connecticut

    Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    Search for articles by this author
  • Deepak Cyril D’Souza
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Deepak Cyril D’Souza, M.D., Psychiatry Service, 116A, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, 950 Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516.
    Affiliations
    Psychiatry Service, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven

    Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, Connecticut

    Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    Search for articles by this author
      Converging lines of evidence suggest several distinct relationships between psychosis and both naturally occurring and synthetic cannabinoids. The high rates (
      Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2014): Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of national findings. Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (formerly the Office of Applied Studies), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
      ,
      Office of National Drug Control Policy
      Marijuana: The Greatest Cause of Illegal Drug Abuse.
      ) and earlier onset (
      • Johnston L.D.
      • O’Malley P.M.
      • Bachman H.G.
      • Schulenberg J.E.
      Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings, 2011.
      ) of cannabis use, the legalization of “medical” marijuana (cannabis) (

      ProCon.org (2011): Medical Marijuana ProCon.org. Available at: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/. Accessed February 17, 2016.

      ,
      • Kleber H.D.
      • DuPont R.L.
      Physicians and medical marijuana.
      ) and recreational cannabis use in some states (

      Bly LS (2012): Colorado, Washington OK recreational marijuana use. USA Today. Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/dispatches/2012/11/07/colorado-washington-legalize-recreational-marijuana-tourism/1689269/#. Accessed February 17, 2016.

      ), the increasing availability (
      • MacCoun R.J.
      • Mello M.M.
      Half-baked—the retail promotion of marijuana edibles.
      ,

      Saint Louis C (2015): Cannabis coffee, vegan weed bonbons and other emerging marijuana edibles. New York Times. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/18/health/marijuana-edibles.html. Accessed February 17, 2016.

      ,

      Steinmetz K (2015): Colorado Sold Nearly 5 Million Marijuana Edibles in 2014. Time. Available at: http://time.com/3726742/colorado-marijuana-sales-report/. Accessed February 17, 2016.

      ) and use of edible cannabinoid products (
      • Ghosh T.S.
      • Van Dyke M.
      • Maffey A.
      • Whitley E.
      • Erpelding D.
      • Wolk L.
      Medical marijuana’s public health lessons—implications for retail marijuana in Colorado.
      ) and highly potent synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., Spice and K-2) (
      • Vardakou I.
      • Pistos C.
      • Spiliopoulou C.
      Spice drugs as a new trend: Mode of action, identification and legislation.
      ,
      • Johnson L.A.
      • Johnson R.L.
      • Alfonzo C.
      Spice: A legal marijuana equivalent.
      ), the increasing potency of cannabis (
      • Mehmedic Z.
      • Chandra S.
      • Slade D.
      • Denham H.
      • Foster S.
      • Patel A.S.
      • et al.
      Potency trends of Delta9-THC and other cannabinoids in confiscated cannabis preparations from 1993 to 2008.
      ), and the high rates of emergency department visits related to cannabinoids (
      Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2012): Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2010: National estimates of drug-related emergency department visits. Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (formerly the Office of Applied Studies), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
      ) warrant the need to understand the relationship between cannabinoids and psychosis.
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