CANNABIS KNOW HOW- Can Cannabis cause psychoses?


Can cannabis cause psychosis?

YES, but only to a limited extent.

The fact is that cannabis, like all other psychoactive substances, can trigger a latent (hidden) psychosis in people with a predetermined personality structure.

If there is a predisposition, a psychotic episode can already break out through a single high-dose use of cannabis.

Also, the composition of the cannabis product of THC and CBD plays a major role in the possible development of psychosis.  High-THC cannabis strains with low CBD content have a drastically higher risk potential for triggering psychosis.

The mixed use of cannabis with other substances (stimulant drugs, psychedelics) can increase this risk.

But symptoms similar to psychosis can also develop gradually. This tendency is observed above all among habitual users with an early onset of consumption.

What is the difference between a substance-induced and a primary psychotic disorder?

If psychotic symptoms occur in connection with the use of psychoactive substances, the question of cause and effect arises. Is it a substance-induced or primary psychotic disorder?

An indication of a psychosis caused by psychoactive substances is certainly the timely and acute occurrence.

In both cases, one should seek immediate advice and help.

And how does it affect young people?

In adolescence, diagnostic attributions should not be made prematurely, although adolescence can be regarded as a vulnerable phase for the development of mental disorders. Nevertheless, one should keep a watchful eye on possible early symptoms of a serious cannabis-related disorder. Unfortunately, it is difficult to distinguish these symptoms from typical pubertal behavior.

The list of subtle behavioral and character changes in adolescent cannabis use, according to Lisa Lindberg and Christian Haasen:

  • Reduced ability to concentrate and attention
  • Reduced energy level
  • Downgraded motivation
  • Depressed moods
  • Insomnia
  • Increased fatigue
  • loss of appetite or increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Distrust
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Feelings of irritation to aggression
  • Emotional fluctuations
  • Magical thinking or bizarre thoughts
  • Neglect of personal care
  • Declining professional or academic performance
  • Social withdrawal

It is noted that most symptoms could be understood as typical pubertal behaviors. And that is precisely why it often happens that they are misinterpreted and valuable time for early intervention passes.

What to do in case of a psychotic disorder?

For those affected and their relatives, there is assistance that should be considered as soon as possible.

If you have symptoms, you should immediately go to the psychiatric emergency room of the hospital on duty.

All use of psychoactive substances should be stopped with immediate effect, because further use could lead to a chronification of the disorder.

Relatives should seek advice and help from a doctor, at best a psychiatrist

Here is a selection of more Cannabis I Know cards:

For any further questions about Cannabis please feel free to contact our Cannabis Hotline:

  • By phone: 49 7777 55 every Tuesday between 9 m-1pm & 2pm-5pm
  • By E- Mail:
  • By WhatsApp: 691 497 755


Méi informéiert – manner riskéiert