Consuming marijuana doesn’t cause alterations to the brain, debunking one of the myths
In recent years, cannabis use has increased and the age of onset has advanced, making it the most widely used illegal drug worldwide. This is mainly due to a low perception of risk and a greater availability of the drug thanks to its legalization, especially in the US. It is now part of the habits and lifestyles of a significant proportion of young people, making it a popular recreational drug. Many believe that this plant can have mental consequences, but according to an American Medical Association study of 63 million people, cannabis is not associated with higher rates of psychosis.
According to estimates by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 3.9% of the world’s adult population uses cannabis, a higher percentage than for all other illicit drugs taken together. Recent studies have suggested that cannabis use has nothing to do with acute psychosis and aggravates psychotic symptoms. These conclusions were shared by a new study published by the American Medical Association.
Experts from the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) conducted an analysis of more than 63 million health insurance beneficiaries over two decades to address this issue. The highlights determined that “compared to the absence of a legalization policy, states with legalization policies did not experience a statistically significant increase in rates of psychosis-related diagnoses.”
The authors made it clear that, unlike other research, they were not able to identify a significant link between the level of state marijuana policy and overall rates of psychosis-related diagnoses or prescription antipsychotics. These are certainly relieving data considering that the plant is becoming increasingly accessible to a large number of Americans.