Over the past five years or so, Canadian healthcare workers have noticed an increase in so-called “cannabis-induced psychosis” among Canadians. According to data collected by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 723 people across the country (excluding Ontario and Quebec) received hospital treatment for cannabis-induced psychosis in 2017. In 2012, that number was just 373. And now that cannabis is legal for adults across Canada, one health charity says it expects a dramatic uptick in cases of cannabis-induced psychosis.

Canadian Health Charity Predicts Legal Weed Will Damage Mental Health

For years, researchers have debated the cause-and-effect relationships between cannabis use and psychiatric health. Data is out there showing that chronic cannabis use, especially high-potency products, can cause acute adverse effects like bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. But these reactions tend to occur in individuals who already have an inherited predisposition to mental illness. And just as the causes of mental illness can be as elusive as they are difficult to treat, the connections between cannabis use and mental health disorders are not well understood.

But chief executive of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC) Chris Summerville says the evidence is in how many people use his charity’s services for cannabis-related mental health problems. Summerville told CTVNews that he sees more and more young people seeking out services from mental health charities like SSC. Furthermore, Summerville told reporters that SSC expects to see more Canadians seeking mental health support now that cannabis is legal.

Clinical Uncertainties Cloud Debates About Cannabis and Psychosis

Despite the numerous reports and studies on the effects of cannabis use, large-scale, high-quality research is lacking. Federal prohibition has stymied significant strides in the United States.

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