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NIH to Congress: Studying Links between Increased Cannabis Use and Psychosis, Suicidal Ideation

Officials from the leading National Institutes of Health told lawmakers on the Capitol they were right to be concerned about increased recreational marijuana use and a potential link with psychosis.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said her office was concerned about the relevance given the rapid rise in cannabis use, especially products with high concentrations of the active ingredient known as THC. said you are trying to understand

“It’s high doses that are associated with psychosis,” Dr. Volkow told the Senate Appropriations Committee. We are prioritizing this research scenario.”

Psychosis is a mental illness in which touch with reality is lost.

Dr. Volkow responded to Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, who wanted to make sure the NIH was on top of the issue, given the trend in marijuana use among young people whose brains are still developing. was

Many politicians and industry insiders are pushing lax policies, saying they promote social justice and fairness without causing too much social harm.

The situation has changed rapidly over the last decade. Colorado and Washington became states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012. Since then, 19 states and the District of Columbia have joined, each with a different approach to sales.

The Smart Approach to Marijuana, an organization that warns about the harm of marijuana use, released a report last month that 52.5 million Americans used marijuana in 2021, up from 17.5 million in 1992. .

Marijuana flowers are getting stronger, with the average THC concentration increasing from 3.75% in 1995 to 15.8% in 2018.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, a doctor known for his TV appearances and addiction medical work, said he’s seen results in his own practice.

Speaking at the SAM-sponsored DC Summit, Dr. Pinsky said:

Dr. Volkow said this is an important area of ​​exploration.

“Trying to understand under what conditions marijuana use can cause psychosis, and importantly, chronic psychosis, is a very important area of ​​research,” she said.

She said researchers are also looking at the potential role of cannabis in suicidal behavior.

“From what we know, we should be concerned and certainly monitor trends,” she said. NIH to Congress: Studying Links between Increased Cannabis Use and Psychosis, Suicidal Ideation

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