Marijuana and Schizophrenia are Definitely Linked

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Marijuana use can lead to psychosis and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia in some people. Find out how and who is at risk on HealthyPlace.

Marijuana and Schizophrenia are Definitely Linked

Marijuana use can lead to psychosis and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia in some people. Research has shown connections between marijuana, the brain, and schizophrenia:

  • Cannabis interferes with executive functioning, which includes such skills as memory, emotional regulation, planning, problem-solving, inhibition, organization, starting tasks, and processing information.
  • It interacts with the dopamine system in the brain, impacting the experiencing of psychosis.
  • Daily use can increase schizophrenia’s negative symptoms like decreased motivation, flat emotions, and an inability to feel pleasure.
  • Smoking marijuana daily has been shown to increase a vulnerable user’s risk of developing schizophrenia by almost five times, and it can cause people to develop schizophrenia six years earlier than others who don’t use the substance (causes of schizophrenia).
  • Using cannabis can worsen schizophrenia in those who already have the illness.

While a definitive link between schizophrenia and cannabis has been found, it seems to primarily apply to those with a genetic disposition for schizophrenia or who are adolescents (because of the still-developing brain).

If you use or plan to use marijuana, knowing your family history and respecting your age can help keep your brain safe and healthy.

Basa, E. (2018). Health Canada warns cannabis use linked to schizophrenia. Narcity. Retrieved October
2019 from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Is there a link between marijuana use and psychiatric
National Institutes on Health: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved October 2019 form

Related Articles Dealing with Marijuana, Schizophrenia, and Mental Health

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2019, October 28). Marijuana and Schizophrenia are Definitely Linked, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 13 from

Last Updated: October 29, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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