Psychosis: Marijuana VS Alcohol
Before we begin this article, we should define the word psychosis: any type of mental disorder that influences thoughts, feelings and actions of the person in question. It’s characterized by hallucinations, delusions or unconstructive thoughts that aren’t conscious. In this article you’ll find the answers you were looking for to the age old question; psychosis: Marijuana VS Alcohol. Don’t be caught out by absurd, nonsensical arguments.
How many times have you heard people say that marijuana can make you “go crazy” or increase the possibilities of having a psychotic or paranoid burst? Sorry to all those who believe that, but a recent study published in “Schizophrenia Research” by a Canadian University indicates that marijuana doesn’t increase the chances of suffering a psychotic episode.
The university used three test substances; tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. They studied the effects of these substances during 4 years in a total of 170 people with a psychotic profile.
According to Dr. Jean Addington, patients that had a psychotic profile increased their symptoms when drinking alcohol, although neither tobacco nor alcohol had any negative effects in as far as symptoms. Society can serve as proof in cases like these, as we are well aware that the number of violent crimes resulting in injured or dead people has noticeably dropped in countries and states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, like Colorado.
This amazing result is also reflected in state revenue; the police have had to get less involved, and there have been fewer costs added to public health systems.
An entirely opposite point of view is that of Dr. Matthew Hill; although he says that the effects aren’t permanent, he mentions temporal schizophrenia during psychotropic trips. Statistics show that people that have a psychotic profile tend to have a genetic alteration in one particular gene, AKT1. This gene is in charge of administering dopamine, which generally causes pleasure in most people, but those with that particular alteration feel frustrated when dopamine is administered, and over time this frustration can turn into psychosis or depression due to a lack of dopamine production. It’s been proven that people with this gene alteration are 7 times more likely to manifest such symptoms if they smoke cannabis every day.
Other cases of psychosis are those that smoked at a young age, and later on due to an alteration in the COMT gene, an enzyme is activated in their brain that degrades both dopamine and norepinephrine. These people are more likely to go schizophrenic. However, both cases that we have mentioned are to do with high levels of THC, but if lower levels are consumed (<18%) then anti-depressive and anxiolytic effects occur, which is the complete opposite!
Statistically, cannabis use in 1950 was quite low due to how bad it was perceived to be and therefore socially unaccepted. Just 10 years later, in 1960, the use of this plant as well as other substances began to become important, and in 1970 the news spread around the globe and cannabis use was much more wide-spread. In just 20 years, cannabis use grew at a surprising rate around the globe while psychosis statistics have remained the same, with absolutely no increases; this is an amazing defense for the positive properties of this plant.
One of the most famous kinds of psychosis is one caused by alcohol, delirium tremens, and it comes from withdrawal symptoms due to abstinence. There are reports dating back to 1900 about alcohol abuse and temporary hallucinations which is a clear sign of an excess of toxins in the body. Many of our readers know exactly what alcohol does; it makes you believe you’re stronger than you are, among other effects, which is a clear sign of unwanted toxins in our body that, if taken in excess, can provoke hallucinations and even comas.
Translation: Ciara Murphy