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What is Cannabis-Induced Psychosis?

What is Cannabis-Induced Psychosis?

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In recent years, cannabis as a drug has been seen in a more positive light. Not only is its’ intoxicating effects milder when compared to other substances, but there has also been growing research showing the possible medical benefits of cannabis. Along with a growing number of states legalizing the drug, Americans have a growing perception that cannabis is a “safe” drug. However, people who use cannabis may experience unsettling side effects, including a condition known as cannabis-induced psychosis.

What is cannabis-induced psychosis?

If you are unfamiliar with this condition, this article will explain this condition in greater detail as well as its symptoms. If you are a marijuana user and experienced psychosis or other conditions, contact Thrive Treatment today and get the help you need. Our substance treatment programs are evidence-based, proven to work, and personalized by our experienced treatment staff for your specific needs. 

Thrive Treatment offers addiction treatment services in Southern California. Call us today and find lasting recovery.

What is Cannabis-Induced Psychosis?

When talking about cannabis-induced psychosis, you first must understand what psychosis is and how it affects people. The National Institute of Mental Health defines psychosis as the following:

“Psychosis refers to a collection of symptoms that affect the mind, where there has been some loss of contact with reality. During an episode of psychosis, a person’s thoughts and perceptions are disrupted, and they may have difficulty recognizing what is real and what is not.”

The common manifestations of this “break from reality” are hallucinations and delusions. Psychosis is not a mental illness in itself but is most often associated with mental illness. However, psychosis can be triggered by substance abuse—including cannabis. Cannabis-induced psychosis occurs when people use the drug and experience hallucinations and delusions that are hallmarks of psychosis. These episodes are acute, and they will disappear once cannabis has been eliminated from the body.

In some cases, people who use marijuana may experience this form of psychosis on a more regular basis. This can be an indication they may have an underlying mental health issue such as schizophrenia. Studies are inconclusive on whether the use of marijuana leads to the development of schizophrenia, but it may trigger episodes of psychosis in those who experience schizophrenia.

Are There “Pre” Cannabis-Induced Psychosis Signs?

If this form of psychosis occurs with marijuana use, it comes on very quickly and with little or no warning. Before the actual signs of cannabis-induced psychosis kick in, people may display pre-psychosis signs that are unique to each individual. These signs can include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Anger and agitation
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating

The Signs of Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

It may be hard to believe, but cannabis-induced psychosis is a real condition that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM states that the condition causes symptoms in those during the use of marijuana, during withdrawal from marijuana, or within one month after last using the drug. The major signs of cannabis-induced psychosis include the following:

Delusions–Delusions are false beliefs. People experiencing delusions continue to have these beliefs even without any evidence they are true.

Hallucinations—Hallucinations are sensations that a person believes are real but don’t exist. These include audio hallucinations, visual hallucinations, and tactile hallucinations.

Dissociation–Dissociation is a sense that one is not connected to the real world and they feel they are experiencing things “outside their body.”

Disorganized Thoughts—Those experiencing cannabis-induced psychosis have chaotic thought processes as well as persistent and disturbing thoughts

Behavioral Changes—People with this form of psychosis react, behave, or express emotions in ways that seem inappropriate. This includes extreme agitation and anger. In some cases, people can have a “flat affect” where they are emotionless.

Prevent Cannabis-Induced Psychosis With the Help of Thrive Treatment

While marijuana is gaining favor as a “safe” drug, the development of cannabis-related psychosis points to deeper mental issues. If you desire to quit using marijuana, call the experienced treatment team at Thrive Treatment today. We offer detoxification, therapy, and other programs that are evidence-based and customized to meet your needs. Our compassionate team of professionals will supply you with the tools, support, and motivation to transform your life throughout your treatment program. Get going on your recovery journey with help from Thrive Treatment.

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