The Link Between Marijuana and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia, a rare but serious mental illness, impairs the way you think, make decisions, and handle emotions…

One analysis of several studies found that marijuana, also called cannabis, is one of the most commonly abused substances among people with schizophrenia. Young people with the condition, in particular, may abuse it more often than alcohol. Learn more about what it means to have both a substance abuse problem and a mental health diagnosis.

Researchers have puzzled over what that link means. Some say that people with schizophrenia may be more likely to use the drug because they’re looking for ways to ease their symptoms. But it’s unlikely that self-medication alone can explain the relationship between marijuana use and schizophrenia.

One thing that marijuana and schizophrenia have in common is psychosis. It isn’t a mental illness – rather, it’s a symptom. When you have psychosis, your thoughts are disrupted in a way that makes it hard for you to tell what’s real and what’s not. You might see or hear things that aren’t there, or you might have strange thoughts that won’t go away. Psychosis is a symptom of schizophrenia. Read more…

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