What is the mechanism whereby cannabis use increases risk of psychosis?
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Cannabis use has increased greatly over the last three decades. The various types of cannabis differ in their concentration of the main psychoactive component, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the other major ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD). Plant engineering has maximized levels of THC, thus increasing the potency of street cannabis. It is well known that cannabis intoxication can cause brief psychotic symptoms like paranoia, whilst recent evidence demonstrates that heavy use of cannabis increases the risk of chronic psychoses like schizophrenia; genetic vulnerability seems to predispose some people to a higher risk. This paper starts to consider the neurochemical mechanisms whereby cannabis use increases the risk of psychosis.
KeywordsCannabis Psychosis Endocannabinoid System Dopamine
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