Irish teens warned over cannabis link to psychosis
Teenagers who smoke cannabis are more at risk of developing schizophrenia, scientists have found.
The drug can physically alter the brain and put people, already predisposed to the condition, at greater risk of altering the brain’s Comt gene which increases the vulnerability of psychosis.
Dr Aine Behan, of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland said a study showed that cannabis use in general had a two-fold risk of psychosis but that this was much greater in adolescence.
Cannabis alone is not sufficient to cause schizophrenia, Dr Behan told the Irish Times, but that the genetic vulnerability played a part.
“Increased knowledge on the effects of cannabis on the brain is critical to understanding youth mental health, both in terms of psychological and psychiatric wellbeing.”