Research published on March 17 suggests that a single dose of THC—or the amount typically present in one joint—could temporarily induce psychiatric symptoms in some patients, including those normally associated with schizophrenia.
Oliver Howes, a senior author on the study and molecular psychiatry professor at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, spoke to CNN in an interview regarding his findings. “The first takeaway is that for people in general there is a risk, even if you are healthy and taking a single dose, a one-off, you could have these symptoms.”
He also added that having symptoms doesn’t lead to a consumer developing a psychiatric illness.
The symptoms “are distressing and could affect your thinking. It’s not just something that’s going to affect people with a history of mental health problems.”
“They are distressing and could affect your thinking. You might not behave in a safe or rational way. It’s not just something that’s going to affect people with a history of mental health problems,” he added. It’s also important to note that THC cannot cause a person to develop schizophrenia or other psychiatric disorders. It just has the potential to mimic the symptoms.
These symptoms are likely familiar to those who have been consuming for years, or even decades. Experiencing paranoia, thinking people are talking about you, or hearing voices have been reported in the past. Howes added that some people exhibit withdrawn behaviors and lose motivation. Although they aren’t dangerous to consumers, it could affect their ability to work or drive a car. “When you take a one-off dose, they [the effects] are temporary and last a few hours, but if you take it regularly, it could be an enduring consequence,” Howes said.
Politicians and researchers have established the fact that more research on cannabis is necessary.