Cannabis has long been touted as one of the safest illicit drugs there is and because of that, states across the U.S., as well as several countries, have legalized its use and possession. While there are beneficial applications for cannabis, it does have a dark side that’s frequently overlooked. Cannabis-induced psychosis is a condition that causes users to experience a psychotic break, often immediately after cannabis use. Let’s take a look at what cannabis-induced psychosis is, the risks associated with it and what to do if it occurs.
What is Cannabis-Induced Psychosis?
Cannabis-induced psychosis is a mental health condition that may be caused directly or indirectly by the use of cannabis. It’s characterized by several symptoms, including:
- Disorganized thought
- Irrational behavior
Often, cannabis-induced psychosis mimics the symptoms of schizophrenia; however, the psychosis is short term, lasting only as long as cannabis is present within the body.
Hallucinations vs. Delusions
When recognizing the symptoms of cannabis-induced psychosis, it’s important to understand the differences between hallucinations and delusions, two common yet different symptoms that may appear in this condition.
- Hallucinations: False perceptions of a person’s environment that may include sounds, smells and sights.
- Delusions: False beliefs that frequently lead to paranoia.
What Causes Cannabis-Induced Psychosis?
The exact cause of cannabis-induced psychosis isn’t fully understood but it’s believed to be related to tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis. That said, it may also be related to mental health conditions, as well as factors such as genetics, environment and lifestyle.
Other risk factors may include using cannabis at an early age, regular or long-term cannabis use, low socioeconomic status, or a family history of mental health conditions.
Long-Term Effects of Cannabis-Induced Psychosis
In most cases, cannabis-induced psychosis is a short-term condition but in rare cases, psychosis may last for weeks, months, or even years. In any case of cannabis-induced psychosis, immediate treatment is vital to reduce the risk of long-term effects.
In addition to ongoing psychosis, the condition may be accompanied by additional long-term effects, including:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Social awkwardness
Preventing Cannabis-Induced Psychosis
The best way to prevent cannabis-induced psychosis is to abstain from use altogether. However, for those who struggle to abstain, there are other measures that can be taken. That includes:
- Using cannabis with lower THC concentrations
- Abstaining from cannabis use while under the age of 21
- Avoiding cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding
- Taking medications separately from cannabis
Cannabis-Induced Psychosis and Cannabis Addiction Recovery
If you or a loved one is struggling with long-term cannabis-induced psychosis or an addiction to cannabis products Hickory Treatment Centers can help.
Our residential drug rehab treatment programs are designed to meet our clients’ unique situations, regardless of the severity of their addiction or co-occuring conditions.
Contact our admissions counselors today at 1-800-604-2117 to make a referral or start your own recovery journey. We’re available 24 hours a day.