The schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric illness whose origin is multifactorial.

People suffering from this disease have a genetic vulnerability that can be influenced by environmental factors, including cannabis!

Explanations from Dr Jimmy Mohamed.

Cannabis may trigger schizophrenia in some people

Not all cannabis users will develop schizophrenia.

Only people who have a vulnerability, a genetic predisposition will trigger, after cannabis consumption, an episode of schizophrenia.”, explains Dr Mohamed. This means that a simple joint can tip some people who have dispositions into illness.

Adolescents with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia are most at risk of developing the disease.

The cannabisand more precisely the THC it contains, would disrupt brain maturation by acting on the receptors it activates.

These receptors are numerous in areas of the brain involved in psychiatric pathologies, and particularly in regions where plasticity is important during adolescence.

A risk multiplied by two

According to Inserm, cannabis consumption doubles the risk of schizophrenia. However, this risk depends on several factors such as the dose, the THC content of the product, the duration of use and the age of exposure.

In addition, consumers most sensitive to the psychotic effects of cannabis have particular genetic variants.

Stress, the other risk factor that can precipitate the onset of schizophrenia

Stress can harm different biological mechanisms that occur in several brain structures (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, etc.).

This could explain the higher incidence of the disease in urban areas or in people who have experienced significant stress.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a difficult illness to diagnose. Symptoms can sometimes be confused with those of other illnesses such as depressionsevere anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder.

As a result, patients are often diagnosed late, when the disease has been progressing for several years.

This disease is characterized by significant disturbances in the perception of reality and by alterations in behavior linked to persistent delirium, persistent hallucinations, disorganization of thought, extreme agitation or, on the contrary, psychomotor slowing.

People with schizophrenia may also have persistent cognitive problems with memory, attention, or problem solving.

Annabelle Iglesias

Journalist

May 15, 2024, at 12:22 p.m.

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