Latest Research On Pot and Schizophrenia Runs Contrary to Mainstream Media Hype

The mainstream media loves to spill ink hyping the allegation that marijuana causes mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. In fact, it was in March when international media outlets declared that cannabis use ‘doubled’ one’s risk of developing the disease. Yet when research appears in scientific journals rebuking just this sort of ‘reefer madness,’ it generally goes unreported.

Such is the case with a pair of just-published studies slated to appear in the journal Schizophrenia Research. The first study, conducted by a team of researchers at various New York state hospitals, the Yale University School of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Mental Health assessed whether there exists a causal association between cannabis use and the age of onset of psychosis in patients hospitalized for the first time for an episode of schizophrenia.

Despite previous media claims to the contrary, researchers concluded:
“Although the onset of cannabis use disorder preceded the onset of illness in most patients, our findings suggest that age at onset of psychosis was not associated with cannabis use disorders. Previous studies implicating cannabis use disorders in schizophrenia may need to more comprehensively assess the relationship between cannabis use disorders and schizophrenia, and take into account the additional variables that we found associated with cannabis use disorders.”

A separate study slated for publication in the same journal assessed the cognitive skills of schizophrenic patients with a history of cannabis use compared to non-users. Authors reported that patients with a history of marijuana use “demonstrated significantly better performance on measures of processing speed, verbal fluency, and verbal learning and memory” compared to abstainers. Marijuana use was also associated with better overall GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) scores compared to those of non-users.

Authors concluded: “The results of the present analysis suggest that (cannabis use) in patients with SZ (schizophrenia) is associated with better performance on measures of processing speed and verbal skills. These data are consistent with prior reports indicating that SZ patients with a history of CUD (cannabis use disorders) have less severe cognitive deficits than SZ patients without comorbid CUD. … The present findings also suggest that CUD in patients with SZ may not differentially affect the severity of illness as measured by clinical symptomatology.”

Both study’s findings are in line with previous (though virtually unreported) research indicating that marijuana is unlikely to instigate incidences of schizophrenia in the general population, that cannabis use among patients with the disease is associated with higher cognitive function, and that at least some schizophrenics find subjective relief from symptoms of the illness by using pot. Nonetheless, odds are the nobody from the mainstream media will be champing at the bit to report on them.

Bottom line: marijuana’s complex relationship with schizophrenia is far from understood, and likely won’t be for some time. But that doesn’t give the MSM a free pass to only promote one side of the story.

– Article from NORML.



  1. Anonymous on

    I grew up in the 1970 when pot was considered a new drug in some areas of the United States. I believe that if it had not been for experimenting with its affects I would not have been verbal enough to speak my mind. I was diagnosed as a scitso…..or slang name, for I had breast cancer at that time. NO one paid any attention to me. ….but after using the drug I became more verbal and finally got a doctor to realize I need help..I became depressed and the diagnoses was changed from scitso to depression….The depression stemed from the surgery and chemo ect. but I am alive today. I was 31 at that time. I am now 60. I didn’t smoke it after that time but feel for certain it was a benefit for me. I became more open and therefore some might have considered that in increase in intellegence. Who thinks a stick in the mud—or—wall flower has any thing to offer,one branded unattatched for the real world. However, I do believe, some that smoke might experience a temporary lack of motivation. Thus it would depend on how, when, and who uses it.

  2. Anonymous on

    My guess is that the positive correlation between cannabis use and intelligence is due to the trend of smarter people using it, rather than being due to an ‘intelligence-producing quality’ of pot. Smarter people are typically more wealthy, I suppose, and thus can afford pot more often. Pot seems to lead to brain cell growth in areas of the brain associated with happiness and that effect might lend itself to an increased desire to be intelligent. The case could be made that the pot prohibition leads people to research politics and economics more than they otherwise would, repectively. Finally, I can imagine that some of the profound effects of pot have a tendency to lead people away from traditional conservative thinking and become more interested in ethics & science, although to be fair, there is the High Times sort of pot crowd who seems to be more associated with flunkies and hippies and skepticism about intellectualism… I suppose it’s the American Libertarian crowd I’m thinking of there. So, those are my explanations for that current trend.

  3. ray christl THC Ministry CamboDEA on

    Control and TAX 2010 in Cannafornia is reasonable,yet SCHEDULE 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 is JUNK SCIENCE HORSESHIIIIT.Prevent and CURE with HEMP seed-oil and HEMP EXTRACT RESIN OIL thc medicine may even solve cancer.YES,and our #1 HERO is MARC and tom james the HEMP USA business-educator is also a HERO.

  4. one12alpha on

    Its more like getting a patent on water. Its something that naturally occurs without human intervention.

  5. plink on

    That’s like getting a patent on feminised seeds.

  6. Anonymous on

    Until when is the USA government going to keep their hypocritical attitude of denying that cannabis has medical benefits (The USA Government has a patent on cannabinoids [when i found about this i was like WTF] cant get any more hypocritical than that) ……several important medical institutions have aknowelge it …….. this actions only suggests that there are other reasons (selfish and self-interest reasons) why they continue whit this unnecessary restrictions ……..

    Cannabis needs to be reschedule as a schedule II substance ……. so every professional has access to it to make their studies ……. and once and 4 all clear all the confusion that surrounds this plant……

    Link to patent —>

  7. persecutedinalberni on

    Never never accept marijuana as a drug that leads to SZ or any other mental illness,the mental illness issues are just another means of a way to attack our drug of choice.

    If there is any sign of mental illness it is if anything a result of smoking to much weed that is sprayed with anything and everything including things like raid to get rid of mites.

    Weed grown in vast quantity by people who only care about the money don’t give a shit about mine or yours health and I am sure continuously smoked weed of this kind I am sure is not good for you.

    This in my opinion is just another reason to legalize it so I can grow it organically like I like to do with vegetables in my garden.

    I would be able to take pride in knowing exactly what went into my cannabis like I do when I grow veggies in the garden.

    When I have to use chemicals then at least it is I that knows what it is and how bad it is.

    Someone should go do a study on what happens to the brain when you smoke lots of weed sprayed with bad pestacides, oh that’s right they just did and it showed it leads to SZ LOL

    It is a gift from out creator/universe and it wants us to use it so it would never cause mental illness on it’s own so go ahead and use it as much as you want.

  8. ray christl THC-Ministry camboDEA on

    This DARK AGES fear used against our creedal(cana)CC rights ,and the common sense to use herbs to heal.This is the important aspect, that freedom which promotes true SCIENTIC METHOD,and peer reviewed data conclusion … NOT BIASED DOGMA to persecute our global family.THE SCIENCE OF FEAR ,Dan Gardner a canadian scholar and brilliant journalist says—System One versus System Two.Our primal brain vs. cognition of evolved mindal.This is the grand dilemma.

  9. Anonymous on

    FINALLY someone addresses this issue more completely. People spew that SZ BS at me every time I speak on cannabis.