A study conducted by a research team from Germany, the Institute of Psychiatry London and the Netherlands has investigated the effects of smoking cannabis on 1,900 volunteers in Germany aged between 14 to 24, before following up the group after both three and eight years.
The results of the study found a link between psychosis and the early stages of cannabis use in young people who had previously not experienced any such symptoms (which included hallucinations, bizarre behaviour and hearing voices).
The team also found that mental health problems persisted in those who continued to use the drug as opposed to those whose stopped, and furthermore, it may also increase the risk of lasting harm to mental health by making symptoms such as the above persist with continued use.
Despite arguments to the contrary this study has added weight to a growing body of research which suggests cannabis can cause symptoms of mental illness.
Professor of psychiatric research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Sir Robin Murray, has said that it is just one of many studies which are all coming forward and pointing in the same direction.
‘It adds new information by showing that it is those who show psychotic symptoms within a few years of initiating cannabis use who are especially likely to develop persistent psychotic symptoms if they persist in their use of cannabis.’ He said.
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