UK: No evidence cannabis leads to schizophrenia in black men

Discussion in 'Cannabis & Health' started by Lunar Loops, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 10, 2006
    from ireland
    This from UKCIA website ( :

    UK: No evidence cannabis leads to schizophrenia in black men

    Deborah Gabriel
    Black Britain

    Friday 16 Jun 2006

    No evidence cannabis leads to schizophrenia in black men.

    Consultant psychiatrist Dr Dele Olajide states the black community must
    vociferously challenge the assumption that smoking cannabis causes
    schizophrenia in black men and explains how alcohol abuse can lead to
    increased violence in relationships.

    Dr Dele Olajide is a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital in
    South East London. and is using the occasion of National Men’s Health
    Week, which has focused on mental health this year, to speak out on two
    issues which he feels have not been properly explored and which are more
    myth than fact.

    The use of cannabis among black men is an extremely controversial area.
    Cannabis is also referred to as ganga, marijuana, herb, weed or skunk -
    a more potent form of cannabis favoured by young people. The debate
    centres on the view of some academics that cannabis use causes psychosis
    among black people.

    As Dr Olajide pointed out, previously the debate was that psychosis was
    caused by a genetic condition: “But all research on genetics and
    schizophrenia among black people has not been conclusive,” although some
    speculate that environmental causes are the reason for the apparent
    prevalence of schizophrenia among black people, especially black men.
    But Dr Olajide is not of that opinion: “I myself do not believe that
    because there is no evidence of direct causality.”

    According to Dr Olajide all the research suggests is that cannabis may
    be contributory along with other factors. If all of the other factors
    are not present a person could smoke cannabis and it would not lead to
    psychosis. A large number of people, both white and black smoke cannabis
    who never develop psychosis.

    “What we can say is that if you are predisposed to psychosis or
    schizophrenia and you start smoking cannabis it is likely to exacerbate
    your symptoms to make it worse,” he told Black Britain. This is because
    the experience of paranoia can be intensified with cannabis use. It also
    intensifies the feeling of being relaxed and causes demotivation, which
    is a common symptom of schizophrenia.

    But Dr Olajide warned: “What we must fight and challenge in the black
    community is the blanket assumption that cannabis use in the black
    community is causing an epidemic of schizophrenia. That I disagree with
    and I think we must resist it and challenge it on every occasion.”

    He pointed to the number of people- both black and white who smoke
    cannabis including undergraduates across the country who do not become
    schizophrenic and was critical of the suggestion that black people who
    smoke cannabis do: “Even scientists who advise the Home Office agreed
    that there is no evidence to suggest a direct link between cannabis use
    and schizophrenia at the moment,” he said.

    Black Britain asked Dr Olajide to comment on the experience of Devon
    Marsden who was sectioned after being examined by a psychiatric doctor
    and after being questioned about his cannabis use. His response was that
    it is common for someone who might experience paranoia for other reasons
    to be assumed to be suffering from cannabis psychosis when it is learnt
    that the person smokes it: “That label is increasingly sticking to black
    men,” he said.

    But jumping to such conclusions is dangerous because it prevents
    investigation into other possible causes of schizophrenia: “For example,
    racism is a major, major cause of psychological stress in black people.
    Even people who are so-called ‘normal’ experience a pernicious impact of
    racism on their lives,” he said.

    Dr Olajide said that within the pool of socially deprived black men
    there will be many who smoke cannabis but this does not necessarily mean
    that it causes schizophrenia and there is no such evidence to support
    that theory. Large scale research in Sweden and the Netherlands has
    looked at this but has found no significant evidence of any associated
    cause of schizophrenia.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2017
  2. wildcat_fan08

    wildcat_fan08 Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Nov 24, 2009
    from U.S.A.
    I am white, not sure if I has schizophrenia, but if so swim knows getting really, really high for the first time caused it if I do have it.....Swim's never really been the same ever since believe it or not.