The newspapers are happy about it, but what is it really?
Last week many unscrupulous magazines were proud to announce the news that cannabis use is contributing to the variation in the incidence of psychotic disorders.
CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform, an association in the United Kingdom, testifies his clarification with respect to this study with the prohibitionist smell.
Context and perception
The psychiatry journal The Lancet recently announced a study on the links between cannabis and psychosis - " The contribution of cannabis use to the incidence of psychotic disorder in Europe: a multicentre case-control study" page (in French).
Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of subsequent psychotic disorders, but it is not known whether it affects the incidence of these disorders. We sought to identify the patterns of cannabis use that had the strongest effect on the odds of psychotic disorder in Europe and to determine whether the differences between these patterns contribute to variations in the incidence rate of psychotic disorders.
For many years, its great leaders, the professor Sir Robin Murray and Dr. Marta di Forti, publish study after study to try to show a causal link between cannabis use and psychosis. They never succeeded and despite concerted efforts, the link between cannabis and psychosis can only be described as extremely fleeting.
901 patients over 5 years for an entire population ...
This study reports that "between May 1, 2010 and April 1, 2015, we obtained data from 901 patients suffering from a first episode of psychosis on 11 sites and 1237 witnesses of the population coming from these same sites ”.
The number of people likely to be affected is infinitely small, as hundreds of millions of people around the world regularly use cannabis without any harmful effects.
There is no need for a medical study to know if cannabis use causes schizophrenia, the statistics are more than enough. Since 1970 the number of users and the average cannabinoid content have exploded exponentially before stabilizing at a very high level. Since 1970, the prevalence of schizophrenia has remained stable while detection has improved. Cannabis can reveal psychiatric pathologies including schizophrenia and cause acute anxiety, sometimes very violent. Do not take the symptoms lightly and do not hesitate to consult in case of persistent disorder.Laurent Call: AddictLib
Every year, early spring, Dr. di Forti and Professor Murray publish their latest study on the subject. It is always interesting to see the last iteration of their work although all studies are remarkably similar.
Cannabis is a psychoactive substance and it is therefore clear that it can have an effect on mental health. Historically speaking, at least 10000 years of human experience tells us that this is a beneficial effect for most people. The number of people who suffer from the negative effects is difficult to quantify, but we can be sure that it is very low. Research published in the review Addiction show that to prevent a single case of psychosis, more than 20000 people should stop using cannabis.
Lightning VS Cannabis
This level of risk must be compared to other risks to make sense of it. For example, if the risk of a diagnosis of psychosis from cannabis use is 1 in 20000, the risk of being struck by lightning in its lifetime is approximately 1 in 3000 (according to National Geo). This puts the risk in a realistic perspective.
It's also important to understand that this latest study does nothing to show that cannabis actually causes psychosis, only that there is an association or correlation with cannabis use. There may be other correlations which may or may not be much stronger. For example, the populations studied may also use tobacco, drink wine, eat spicy food, live in a city center, or exercise regularly or not at all. Likewise, it is not possible to demonstrate that either of these factors is at the origin of the psychosis.
It's also worth noting that the study considers an average of 14% THC to be high potency cannabis. In the United States and Canada, the average THC content now exceeds 20%, sometimes up to 35%, and there have been no reported increases in psychosis rates.
Finally, it must be said that Ms. di Forti is well known for her theoretical projections on cannabis consumption, which can be quite alarmist. Fortunately, they have never been reflected in health records and the number of psychosis cases linked to natural cannabis use in the UK remains very low, no more than a few hundred. There are many much riskier activities to be concerned about.
How to safely manage the risks of cannabis, no matter how small, must be done in a legally regulated environment.
Under regulated conditions, products must be labeled so that their content is known: the quality is maintained at a level that avoids contamination and impurities.
If someone has a drug problem, they can seek help from a doctor without having to invent a crime. Age limits can also be enforced by ensuring that children do not have easy access to cannabis as is the case, for example, in the UK.