People Who Smoke Skunk Are 18 Times More Likely To Develop Psychosis

By Paracelsus · Jul 8, 2008 · ·
  1. Paracelsus

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  1. Heretic.Ape.
    18 times... stepping it up a notch, eh. Wasn't the last one only twice as likely?
  2. Raoul duke420
    Straight propoganda IMO, If not then Im gonna be one crazy bastard someday. oh well pass it to the left.
  3. Rhin
    What's bad about a little psychosis anyways?

    Im sure it's not true, maybe a few times more likely but the media likes to bump stuff up a bit, I don't know about 18 times more likely.
  4. Panthers007
    Something tells me their definition of psychosis involves not voting for Bush and wanting an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
  5. Expat98
    How is it propaganda? It's a scientific study.

    It's not the media, it's a scientific study.

    Now, if you two are claiming that the study has faults then that's different. But you'll need to explain what you think those faults are.

    In SWIM's opinion, it is really not that hard to believe that highly potent cannabis may be much more likely to trigger psychosis than milder forms of the drug. (But he'd just consider this study as one data point and would want to see other studies confirm it before he'd believe this as fact.)

    Expat98 added 30 Minutes and 59 Seconds later...

    BTW, this thread is a duplicate of this one:
  6. Cuberun
    its true, once I saw a guy smoke pot then he masturbated!! only a sinful drug such as mary jumunuana could cause such psychotic behaviour. of course it was perfectly normal for me to spy on y neighbours with my binoculars. this is what a proud conservative citizen should always do.
  7. Expat98
    ^^Can we please raise the level of discourse a little bit in this thread? This is not a reefer madness type article. The study itself and/or the conclusion that this article draws based on the study may very well have faults, but so far nobody has made any intelligent comments about it.

    I am very much in favor of ending drug prohibition, but I do not believe that the way forward is to stick our heads in the sand when we see a piece of scientific data we don't like, or to dismiss it with a wave of the hand as "propaganda" or "media hype" without taking the time to analyze it. Let's leave those tactics to the other side.

    Anyway, why is it so hard to believe that highly potent cannabis may be much more likely to trigger psychosis than milder forms of the drug?
  8. Bajeda
    Maybe if you are talking about soapbar....

    The other two factors seem to have been dropped in favour of 'Skunk' for the headline. I can see how more THC-laden cannabis without moderating cannabinoids to attenuate some of the psychological effects can increase the risk factor for psychosis in those predisposed, but I don't know if a person who doesn't smoke so-called "skunk" yet smokes every day for a year has a much lower chance of not developing psychosis should they be so disposed. Or perhaps people with greater risk of developing mental illness tend to progress towards smoking stronger and stronger bud for some reason, going hand and hand with the progression of symptoms. Maybe the discrepancy in usage for the sample population is in large part due to a tendency to search for a more powerful high by those who are more likely to develop psychosis. Just some speculations to mull over.

    Maybe there are already some studies out there on this, but I'd like to see a sample of heavy and long term smokers collected and have the rate of psychosis compared to the levels found in the overall (or control) population, aside from taking people with psychosis and seeing what they smoke and comparing it to a control (as in this study).
  9. Raoul duke420
    This article is talking about "skunk"- some slang term. IT says that Skunk has very little CBD. Fact is that every strain has its own levels of THC and CBD and those levels can change too. Indica and sativa varietys vastly differ in thier cannabinoid content, so saying that all this new age skunk weed has high THC levels that cause psychosis is bullshit considering all of the factors involved, Sounds like its weed bashing propoganda still to me.
  10. Paracelsus
    Sorry for posting the same story; somebody please merge the threads.

    Please try to retrieve and read the actual paper before simply dismissing it as propaganda. This is propaganda.
  11. fiveleggedrat
    Swim says we need to carry out our own studies.

    Everything this study has "concluded" is completely against common burnout pothead logic, not to mention someone educated on drugs, like the Swimers in this pool.
  12. Rhin
    SWIM thinks if this stuff can make it 18X more likely to gain psychosis this means he needs some of this skunk because he want's something that strong!
  13. doggy_hat
    For a scientific study, they're using some pretty loose terminology. Skunk is a slang term, it can be used to refer to alot of different strains of weed. And hash can come in a variety of different potencies. They also forgot to mention the fact that cannabis is very unlikely to cause psychotic symptoms in someone who has no predisposition to mental illness. Not to mention crazy people tend to have more addictive personalities. Some studies have concluded that somewhere around 85-95 percent of Schizophrenics are cigarette smokers. Which is about 3 times the average for the whole population. So people that are psychotic, or predisposed to being psychotic are probably going to be more likely to seek more potent drugs.
  14. Panthers007
    Plus psychotic people tend to be on powerful psychotropic medication at the time any such studies are conducted. Sounds to me like the "LSD Breaks Chromosomes!" story - where they left out a "minor detail" such as the chromosomes were boiled for 6 hours in a solution of sodium hydroxide (Lye, drain-cleaner). Or the "MDMA Causes Brain-Damage!" one where they "accidentally" used methamphetamine in place of MDMA.
  15. Paracelsus
    Panthers: it was mentioned that the recorded cases were "first episode psychosis." So no diagnosis of mental illness or antipsychotics.

    I'm curious about when and where the actual paper will be published (as this apparently was just a talk at a meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
  16. stoneinfocus
    You're put immediately on "anti" -psychotics, that's their job.that left aside, you can get deported as easily as snapping your finger, when your enemies call the police on you and witness. Of course, you're "psychotic" when/whilst being robbed.(thug experiment:"the only way to get out was admitting to everything and claiming to make aprogress")

    Plus, grass is a lot more psychedelic, I'd be careful about an panic attack on grass, defining it as a psychotic episode.Million ways to manipulate, just by exaggerating "normal" symptoms and making panicing users expect the worst to come, from all sides. Of course propaganda hasn't changed during the decades. ;-)
  17. enquirewithin
    Medical News is not exactly an academic, scientific publication. The choice of headline is quite sensational. There is a great deal left out. What is a 'psychotic episode' here anyway? Being stoned? The other problem I have with all this skunk research is that the THC content is not really very high. Hashish in Asia appears to be stronger and has been being smoked for a very long time. That's not to say that smoking cannabis all day is a very good idea for most people.

    The headline made it sound as if the skunk caused the 'psychotic episode.' It's deliberately misleading. Propaganda can be subtle or or very obvious. The current government is going against advice and reclassifying cannabis becuase this goes down well with 'middle England', for political reasons Researchers will tend to get grants if they produce results which are currently acceptable to those who give grants for research. Science is not free from politics, although it should be. Remember Ricault and MDMA?

    I found this abstract from Forti, a different E. London study

    You could write an article based on this called, "Cannabis Smoking Makes You Clever!"

    Click here for a 2nd International Cannabis and Mental Health Conference PDF.
  18. Expat98
    You have two groups of cannabis smokers. The people in one group had exhibited a first episode of psychosis. The people in the second group had not. The study found that the people in the first group who had suffered psychotic episodes were 18 times more likely to have smoked highly potent cannabis than the people in the second group, who primarily smoked less potent forms of cannabis.

    Now granted that correlation is not the same as causation, but 18 times is a very high number and is strongly suggestive of causation. So yes, the headline and the article do make it sound like the psychosis was caused by the skunk. But this seems like a pretty reasonable conclusion. (Much more follow-up work needs to be done of course.)

    How else would you explain the 18x difference? People have suggested various things above, but none of it sounds very compelling. This is a good case in which to remember Occam's razor:

    The simplest theory here is that the skunk caused the psychosis. You have to come up with some elaborate and somewhat far-fetched assumptions to theorize anything else.

    BTW, all the points made above about science being subject to politics are very true and well-taken. There could be something very wrong with this study. It's difficult to say without having access to the full paper.

    However, SWIM tells me that based on his experience he really does not find it very hard to believe that high potency cannabis may be much more likely to trigger psychosis in people who are susceptible to it (key phrase) than low potency cannabis. There is a very real difference in the mental effects of kind bud versus "normal" weed. (Granted that there's some ambiguity in what they're calling "skunk", but I think we can all agree that all cannabis is not created equal.)

    Expat98 added 54 Minutes and 28 Seconds later...

    BTW, I think something that should be pointed out here is that this study says nothing at all about the percentage of people who experience a psychotic episode after smoking skunk. For example, it could be true that skunk causes a psychotic episode in a very small percentage of people who smoke it. But even if this is the case, it may still be (and almost certainly is) highly unlikely that any given person who smokes skunk would experience psychosis.

    From a drug policy point of view, the question that is really important to ask is, "What percentage of people who smoke skunk experience psychosis?" This study does not address that question, and you cannot draw any kind of valid conclusion about that question based on this study's data. (You could try to draw a conclusion about that in a roundabout sort of way, but there are too many problems with doing that to make the conclusion have any validity.)
  19. Panthers007
    Oh heck yeah - way back yonder in the early 1960's when it was legal - the rule was don't give psychedelics to psychotics. No doubt about that one. That was in force both above and below the radar.
  20. AntiAimer
    What Smurf would love to know is the effects of the psychosis that these people are are exhibiting. These studies keep popping up but never get to the point other then trying to yet again demonize Marijuana while throwing in made up percentages for dramatization\shock value. "It's god's gift to humans" could make a doctor view you as having psychosis symptoms.

    Just seems to Smurf that once these people get high and even more so off "Skunk weed" they label the high as being psychosis. Like in "Super High Me", the guy in the docu smokes for 30 days straight and takes these "tests" when he is sober and then when he is not and when he was high the doctor said he showed symptoms of psychosis but when he was not, he did not. Let's also note that this guy smokes, not just for this "documentary" and all he did was stop for 30 days and then start again for 30 days.

    "People experiencing psychosis may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs, and may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking."
    Drugs are drugs and can surely have these effects no matter the substance(even water!).

    The effects must be very subbtle for them to never state there actual findings while spewing out percentages that they made up in there head. Which is very apparent to the millions and millions of users who "seem" to be fine untill a doctor looks at them. You could look at anyone under the influence and say there in a form of psychosis, heck read up on religion and view there followers and you will find alot of psychotic "sober" peoplethat show major symptoms that can fall under psychosis. Whoever thought up the T.V and computer and internet, must have been viewed as psychotic untill they prooved otherwise. So just saying people who smoke "skunk weed" are 18 times more likely to develop Psychosis means nothing, very vague.

    And back to the "reefer madness" we go.
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