Does Marijuana Cause Schizophrenia?

Does Marijuana Cause Schizophrenia?
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The evidence linking cannabis use to psychotic disorders is considered strong enough to warrant a public health warning.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Even as proponents of cannabis legalization contend that marijuana is a harmless natural substance that improves quality of life, a growing body of evidence links it in a small but significant number of users to the induction or aggravation of psychosis. “Psychotic disorders are arguably the most serious of mental illnesses, the best known being schizophrenia.” Schizophrenia is an illness “characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and odd behavior, [and] is among the top 10 leading causes of disability in the United States,… affecting approximately 1 percent of the general population.” Can cannabis cause it?

“Nearly 2,000 studies have been published on this topic [over the last half century],” and we hear about the pro-psychotic effects. But, how clear is that link? Population studies have “consistently demonstrated a strong…dose-dependent association between cannabis use and the risk of psychotic disorders.” This is what they mean by a dose-response: studies showing that the more cannabis people used, the more likely they were to be psychotic. But that doesn’t mean cannabis is the cause; it could just be a correlation or even a consequence of the disease. Yeah, “the link between cannabis and psychosis is well established”—but maybe that’s just because patients with mental health problems self-medicate with cannabis to relieve their distress.

But there isn’t just a link between cannabis and psychosis in snapshot-in-time cross-sectional studies, but in cohort studies as well, where people are followed over time. And so, you can see the cannabis use often precedes the psychosis, and not the other way around. Now it goes without saying that “the vast majority of people who use cannabis do not develop…schizophrenia, and many [schizophrenics] have never used cannabis. But overall, these studies are considered to be “strong enough evidence to warrant a public health [warning].”

There is another potential explanation, though. Even though cannabis use precedes schizophrenia, maybe whatever genes drive schizophrenia also just make it more likely you start smoking pot? The biggest strike against the cannabis-schizophrenia link are country-by-country ecological studies that don’t seem to show more disease in areas where there’s more use, and overall schizophrenia rates seem to have remained stable, or have even gone down worldwide since the sixties, even though there’s been a big bump in cannabis use since then.

If about 10 percent of schizophrenia cases are attributable to marijuana use, and there’s been a fourfold increase in use, why hasn’t there been a 40 percent increase in the prevalence of schizophrenia? The problem with that argument is that there is, apparently, “little reliable evidence on the [true] trends in the incidence of schizophrenia.” Or maybe it’s more of a potency issue rather than just cannabis in general. The bottom line is that you don’t know until you put it to the test.

You can’t just randomize kids to cannabis, but in a way, Mother Nature set up a natural experiment for us. There are genes that kids randomly get that can increase their likelihood of smoking pot; do those kids then go on to have a higher risk of schizophrenia? Yes, supporting all those population studies that suggest cannabis plays a cause-and-effect role in the development of schizophrenia. Okay, but by how much? Let’s break it down.

Even if cannabis use doubles risk, that would only mean going from like a 7 in a thousand chance of going crazy to like 14 in a thousand. So, like a 1 in 140 chance to a 1 in 70 chance. Now, if it runs in your family, that’s different, and that doubling could mean going from 1 in 10 to 1 in 5. But on a population scale, it could take thousands of users quitting to prevent a single case of schizophrenia. So, from a public health standpoint, addiction is a far more common problem. People are probably nine times “more likely to become addicted to [marijuana—even though that itself is relatively rare]—than to develop psychosis in their lifetime.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Lily Banse via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Even as proponents of cannabis legalization contend that marijuana is a harmless natural substance that improves quality of life, a growing body of evidence links it in a small but significant number of users to the induction or aggravation of psychosis. “Psychotic disorders are arguably the most serious of mental illnesses, the best known being schizophrenia.” Schizophrenia is an illness “characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and odd behavior, [and] is among the top 10 leading causes of disability in the United States,… affecting approximately 1 percent of the general population.” Can cannabis cause it?

“Nearly 2,000 studies have been published on this topic [over the last half century],” and we hear about the pro-psychotic effects. But, how clear is that link? Population studies have “consistently demonstrated a strong…dose-dependent association between cannabis use and the risk of psychotic disorders.” This is what they mean by a dose-response: studies showing that the more cannabis people used, the more likely they were to be psychotic. But that doesn’t mean cannabis is the cause; it could just be a correlation or even a consequence of the disease. Yeah, “the link between cannabis and psychosis is well established”—but maybe that’s just because patients with mental health problems self-medicate with cannabis to relieve their distress.

But there isn’t just a link between cannabis and psychosis in snapshot-in-time cross-sectional studies, but in cohort studies as well, where people are followed over time. And so, you can see the cannabis use often precedes the psychosis, and not the other way around. Now it goes without saying that “the vast majority of people who use cannabis do not develop…schizophrenia, and many [schizophrenics] have never used cannabis. But overall, these studies are considered to be “strong enough evidence to warrant a public health [warning].”

There is another potential explanation, though. Even though cannabis use precedes schizophrenia, maybe whatever genes drive schizophrenia also just make it more likely you start smoking pot? The biggest strike against the cannabis-schizophrenia link are country-by-country ecological studies that don’t seem to show more disease in areas where there’s more use, and overall schizophrenia rates seem to have remained stable, or have even gone down worldwide since the sixties, even though there’s been a big bump in cannabis use since then.

If about 10 percent of schizophrenia cases are attributable to marijuana use, and there’s been a fourfold increase in use, why hasn’t there been a 40 percent increase in the prevalence of schizophrenia? The problem with that argument is that there is, apparently, “little reliable evidence on the [true] trends in the incidence of schizophrenia.” Or maybe it’s more of a potency issue rather than just cannabis in general. The bottom line is that you don’t know until you put it to the test.

You can’t just randomize kids to cannabis, but in a way, Mother Nature set up a natural experiment for us. There are genes that kids randomly get that can increase their likelihood of smoking pot; do those kids then go on to have a higher risk of schizophrenia? Yes, supporting all those population studies that suggest cannabis plays a cause-and-effect role in the development of schizophrenia. Okay, but by how much? Let’s break it down.

Even if cannabis use doubles risk, that would only mean going from like a 7 in a thousand chance of going crazy to like 14 in a thousand. So, like a 1 in 140 chance to a 1 in 70 chance. Now, if it runs in your family, that’s different, and that doubling could mean going from 1 in 10 to 1 in 5. But on a population scale, it could take thousands of users quitting to prevent a single case of schizophrenia. So, from a public health standpoint, addiction is a far more common problem. People are probably nine times “more likely to become addicted to [marijuana—even though that itself is relatively rare]—than to develop psychosis in their lifetime.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Lily Banse via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

159 responses to “Does Marijuana Cause Schizophrenia?

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  1. I think we should not rule out the impact that the illegality of marijuana has on psychosis and paranoia. People are told that they are crazy for having hallucinations and that they are breaking the law. In other cultures those who hallucinate and have a different view of the world are called shamans and revered quite highly. People can get paranoia from the illegality of the substance not the substance itself. It’s hard to untangle that effect. I would caution those who rule out the environment that could also potentially cause the disorder.

    1. I am posting this study results up here because it goes as far as going off of pot after developing psychoses versus not going off of pot.

      The results of these meta-analyses show that persons who develop psychosis experience onset of psychosis about 2-3 years earlier if they are cannabis users; this effect is not observed with alcohol or other substance use. Higher levels of cannabis use are associated with greater risk of psychosis. Current cannabis abuse or dependence (but not past use or lower levels of current use) increases the risk of transition into psychosis in persons at ultrahigh risk of psychosis. About a third of patients with first-episode psychosis are cannabis users, and, at follow-up, about half of these users are found to continue their cannabis use. Continued cannabis use (in those who are treated after developing psychosis) is associated with higher risk of relapse into psychosis, and discontinuation of cannabis use reduces the risk of relapse to that in cannabis nonusers. Finally, persons with psychosis who continue to use cannabis have more severe positive symptoms and poorer levels of functioning. Because experimental studies in humans show that cannabinoids and cannabis can induce psychotic symptoms, it is reasonable to assume that the epidemiologic data indicate a causal effect of cannabis in anticipating, triggering, or exacerbating psychosis in vulnerable individuals and in worsening the course and outcome of the illness in those who continue to use the substance.

    2. 100% majority of people who grow up in low socioeconomic areas suffer stress/safety fears/stigma already so, of course, something like weed WE HAVE USED FOR THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF YEARS is cheap and perhaps these people are self-medicating “stress/alienation” because of their environment/lack of social support. What about all the drugs given to young adults for anxiety and depression? I’d never felt worse then the whole year I kept “trying” new doses. I have lost two friends who were on medication for depression… so you want to blame a fucking (ancient/sacred/gaia grown) herb and not look systemic issues (Gregory Bateson, Thomas Teo, Micheal White) ??? childhood entertainment and identity? Ever heard of bio-psycho-social model? Neoliberal ideologies making us “brand” ourselves before we graduate highschool? Lol smoke a joint mate, you need it.

  2. [There are genes that kids randomly get that can increase their likelihood of smoking pot] t=3:25

    I’m not a geneticist, but this statement would need to be validated thoroughly before I could accept the gene-to-pot-habit theory. How could someone test something like this?

    1. Dr Cobalt,

      I agree.

      For instance, there have been times when surveys or studies that said that 90% of kids have tried pot. It was so present in schools and colleges that I would be more impressed if there was a gene that stopped people from trying it, since everybody seemed to be trying it.

      They don’t even know who smokes pot in the first place makes it hard for me to believe that they figured out who smoked it and what their genes were.

          1. That may be how they arrived at the conclusion: maybe they analyzed blood samples from schizophrenics and found a common gene or some such thing. Then they did lifestyle studies that confirmed a common link with marijuana use… and so attributed the gene to a predisposition for pot smoking somehow. But, regardless, I’m skeptical of such a link. I would need more substantial proof before I bought it.

            1. Agreed. Need mor proof. Actually marijuana is actually quite helpful for a lot of things. This study so dine by Simone who is totally against pot.

      1. Mr. FF, thanks, so they found a 37% increased risk of schizophrenia due to cannabis use. Doesn’t sound so harmless to me. Why raise your risk for this awful disease?
        What has bothered me most about the legalization, is that putting it in food is ok. It puts many more children at risk. That is so wrong!
        So thankful my kids don’t use.

    2. This was where I stopped understanding the discussion. “There are genes that kids randomly get that can increase their likelihood of smoking pot; do those kids then go on to have a higher risk of schizophrenia? Yes.”

      So then how do we know that the gene that increases the likelihood of smoking pot doesn’t also increase the likelihood of psychosis? That would make the pot correlation rather than causation.

      1. cg,

        Either way, the people who are vulnerable to psychosis get worse on pot and are less likely to relapse into psychosis if they get off of it and are better off without it.

        It damages young people’s brains. That is a different video and it is young people who are vulnerable to schizophrenia.

  3. Pot smokers wil use:
    Genesis 1:29 I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed to you it shall be for meat.
    You have to have common sense. Just because something is natural does’t mean it’s good. Getting stung by a bee is natural, and would you touch plant based poison ivy, kudzu and honeysuckle and all the other toxic plants?
    Stay away from pot.

    1. Yerky,

      Some folks are not allergic to poison ivy — something I was surprised to learn at the time. And many animals eat poison ivy or their berries — some birds do, apparently, which is how I get poison ivy in the middle of my yard or gardens.

      I digress. What is toxic to some people may not be to others.

      Though I agree that just because something is “natural” — whatever that means — doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for you. Though I also agree that “natural” whole foods are healthier for you than unnatural highly processed foods. The sword cuts both ways.

    2. Kudzu root and honeysuckle are both used in Traditional Chinese herbology as medicines. Neither one is toxic. Kudzu root is in fact used in food as a healthier substitute for corn starch!

    3. The 2 people i know who’ve had mental breakdowns had issues long before ever touching marijuana. Of my wide circle of friends [who use marijuana], I am unaware of anyone who has succumbed to mental illness [after using marijuana] as an adult. Maybe i’m living in a bubble.

      Meanwhile, of my wide circle of friends, there are many who *never use* marijuana who have gone to jail, have had mental breakdowns, etc.

      Bottom line, I know more people who have mental issues who dont use pot.

      Meanwhile, I smoke the holy ganja every day.

      1. Leroy. I agree . This doesn’t sound like a good study. Marijuana actually can help with diseases. Everyone’s chemistry is different. Some people can experience paranoia but this story doesn’t add up to much.

  4. What I will say in response to this is that I do know people who did become psychotic at a high level who started off sweet, intelligent pot-smokers.

    Sometimes still sweet, pot-smoking, no-longer intelligent, devastated their families when they tried to kill people or had people try to kill them, society drop-outs, who have spent most of the past decade institutionalized or sleeping on friends’ couches.

    That is much less “cool” than pot smoking is portrayed at the concerts.

    1. Deb, thanks for sharing your POV. But, it sure seems to me that you are blaming ‘pot smoking’ for the ills of your friends (former friends?).

      Life throws all of us many curve balls, many set backs, many challenges. We all must endure our problems with the support of our friends and families, and on our own through our own sheer will power to overcome.

      It seems to me that your friends were just losers.

      I consume weed every day, and i’ll tell you, I’m a go getter, hustler, and a winner. That wont be going away, much like the many respectable older [marijuana using] folk i know who have highly successful lives.

      1. There are also many people who drink alcohol and smoke tobacco who are highly successful, live long healthy lives etc etc That doesn’t invalidate the scientific evidence that booze and tobacco consumption increase the risk of adverse health events.

  5. Smoking cigarettes causes more health problems, but my cigarette smoking friends and relatives are all still alive and remained intelligent, hard-working people.

    My pot-smoking friends and relatives mostly couldn’t hold jobs and died young.

    That is anecdotal, but even when I was in college, I was doing a state job at college and the pot smokers were hiding all day long and not working and the cigarette smokers were just taking smoking breaks.

    The same at our business. The hardest working people I have ever met still smoke cigarettes and the people who sneak off to find places to nap fall in the other category. Just saying.

    1. Maybe the reason pot smokers weren’t taking smoke breaks too is because they didn’t want to go to jail? And you do know that there are hundreds of strains of cannabis and not all fulfill your stereotype of putting people to sleep. There are marathon runners using certain strains of edibles because of the energy boost and mental clarity it gives them.

      1. word up. i’ll eat an edible and bike 35 miles. I also vape flower prior to my weekend yoga routine, it really helps me focus deeply on certain muscles.

  6. Good article, but “going crazy” to describe someone developing schizophrenia is very insensitive. Please reconsider your word choice. Thank you.

    1. I was told to use different words by my brother’s counselor. Maybe HE wasn’t crazy, but his actions sure were crazy. What is a better way for a shocked family member to describe the harmful actions generated by a malfunctioning brain?

    2. Thanks for saying this! I was also offended.I was a psychiatric nurse for 35 years and feel that the stigma against mental illness needs to be eradicated! When a well respected physician like Dr.Gregor uses perjorative terms like going crazy it is not helpful at all!

    3. What’s wrong with calling a spade a spade/

      Sugar-coating risks by using less-confrontational terms may do more harm than good.

  7. Schizophrenia is often pre determined w symptoms early in life. Marijuana as well is known to be an hallucinogen. Schizophrenics will look to such things for the answers our spiritually deprived and “defined” society fails to evolve to. (Too busy working and paying bills: the “Almighty” buck rules, as history does dictate…)

  8. All I can say is that the comments about cannabis, its users and the characteristics associated with using are quite amusing. The generalizations and judgments may be more harmful than the drug itself. cannabis still has a stigma which will hopefully fade as it becomes more accepted. Reefer Madness was a folly developed by the alcohol industry to protect their interests. There is no doubt in my mind that overuse of any substance is harmful. Heavy and frequent use of alcohol is particularly so.

    1. I will agree.

      Overuse of anything is harmful and, yes, alcoholism is obviously more widespread.

      But, growing up in the 60’s and 70’s and having been literally surrounded by pot smokers, it did damage young people’s brains and did destroy their lives. They got out of the educational and career paths and became shipwrecked in a way that the cigarette smokers and even the alcoholics didn’t until much later in their lives.

      I never saw an alcoholic become schizophrenic. I did see the alcoholics lose their drivers’ licenses and spend time in jail and become chronically unemployed and lose relationships, but the pot smokers ended up worse off and there was no attitudes against it from their peers. Still isn’t that I see. I saw a few whole rooms full of adults planning on growing and selling pot (again) in their lives once it becomes legal.

      1. The alcoholics kill people drunk driving. They get liver problems.

        But lately, they just go on things like Wellbutrin and get off it fairly easily.

        Some people in my life who were lifetime alcoholics, coming out of the military where they had been stationed places where they couldn’t drink the water, but they could drink the beer, struggled for decades, then started on Wellbutrin and never had an alcohol craving again. That is becoming more common.

        1. Deb, Saying that people get off alcohol fairly easily…is laughable and brings your non-pot smoking judgment into deep question.

          Unlike you I learned at an early age that alcohol was deadly. It killed people who drank and drove, including my college roommate, and others who were hit by them, and even occasionally by overdose. Pot does none of those things. I smoked it all through college and even graduated! I don’t recognize the problem with dropouts that you describe.

          I also noticed that young blue collar men in my home town were much more friendly and less likely to engage in violent behavior–either against each other or property under the influence–both pharmacological and cultural– of MJ. Over the years I’ve also met and occasionally worked with many hard driving, hard working regular users of marijuana. Several of my college friends smoked frequently while they were in medical school. I haven’t met Rick Steves of PBS travel show fame; but he donated very large amounts of his money to legalization while making clear his love for the herb. Other donors include the founders of Men’s Wearhouse and the University of Phoenix, along with George Soros, who admits to have tried MJ. Astronomer Carl Sagan loved the herb and used it most evenings with his wife. She later joined the board of NORML. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield used it every day of his adult life said his last wife, but he was accustomed to getting no respect for a variety of reasons. Many NFL players use marijuana despite its career dangers because it gives them pain relief.

          In short, my anecdotal evidence is as good as yours. Better, I think.

          Finally, we need to consider the “public health” effects of anti-marijuana laws, which have been severe.

          “According to the ACLU’s original analysis, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.”

      2. Deb,

        I agree with 8Mango’s comments.

        Most of the people I knew who smoked pot smoked during college, and they have all gone on to successful professional lives as doctors, teachers, scientists, etc. Taxpayers every one.

        Now, if people are smoking pot when their economic opportunities are severely limited, then their economic problems might be linked to despair or depression over the circumstances of their lives, and their pot use a way to escape this well of deep misery. So, a symptom of economic inequality, not a cause of it. Or not a major cause of it.

        1. the hip hop / rap culture carries a theme of obviously blatant weed use. and what culture does it come out of? indeed, one of economic inequality and despair; a way to help one escape the harsh reality, to soften to blow of the daily struggle.

      1. Deb

        You may be banging your head against a brick wall here.

        If we start from the premise that marijuana use is harmless if not actually healthful, then all evidence to the contrary must be the result of vested interests, corruption, conspiracy, bias and/or poor science. Therefore, there is no need to even look at it let alone engage in a detailed analysis of what it may or may not mean. And the people who duscuss it like Greger must be wrong/biased/flawed/culpable etc.

        1. By the way, re accusations of conspiracies and corruption/vested interests etc, are you aware of the experimental study that showed that a key ingredient of cannabis induced paranoid thoughts?

          ‘To discover whether cannabis really does cause paranoia in vulnerable individuals, we carried out the largest ever study of the effects of THC (∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the drug’s principal psychoactive ingredient). We recruited 121 volunteers, all of whom had taken cannabis at least once before, and all of whom reported having experienced paranoid thoughts in the previous month (which is typical of half the population). None had been diagnosed with a mental illness. The volunteers were randomly chosen to receive an intravenous 1.5mg dose of either THC (the equivalent of a strong joint) or a placebo (saline). To track the effects of these substances, we used the most extensive form of assessment yet deployed to test paranoia, including a virtual-reality scenario, a real-life social situation, self-administered questionnaires, and expert interviewer assessments.

          The results were clear: THC caused paranoid thoughts. Half of those given THC experienced paranoia, compared with 30% of the placebo group: that is, one in five had an increase in paranoia that was directly attributable to the THC. (Interestingly, the placebo produced extraordinary effects in certain individuals. They were convinced they were stoned, and acted accordingly. Because at the time we didn’t know who had been given the drug, we assumed they were high too.).’
          https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/know-your-mind/201407/cannabis-really-can-cause-paranoia

          1. Mr. Fumblefingers,

            The study results you quoted to me are amazing: 3 out of 10 subjects given a placebo experienced paranoia. So the mere suggestion that they might be consuming THC resulted in paranoia in a large percentage of this in the study. Or that consuming something might. Or consuming something that might cause paranoid thoughts cause paranoid thoughts?

            Also, the study subjects consisted of those who had experience paranoid thoughts in the past month — which itself is stated to be typical of half the population! Is there a citation for this observation that half of the population experiences a paranoid thought at least about once a month? That seems high to me; I wonder what “causes” all these paranoid thoughts? But moving on: did the placebo “cause” paranoid thoughts in 30% of the study subjects? Which is equal to about 15% of the population. And THC “caused” paranoid thoughts in 20% more of the subjects, which is equal to about 10% of the population. About 1 in 10.

            I wonder what the effects of both the placebo and mainlining THC would be in the other half of the population, which experiences paranoid thoughts less than at least about once a month.

            And the more I think about it, I wonder what this study actually means.

  9. This is the first article of Dr. Greger’s that I really take issue with. The research seems weak and unprovable, and does not separate THC from CBD, which has benefitted many people with its pain-relieving properties, and has undoubtedly relieved seizures in patients with intractable epilepsy. Dr. Greger, I am disappointed with your use of the word ‘crazy’ in describing schizophrenics- this is so unprofessional, and not up to your usual standard.

    1. Deborah Wallis,

      He is reading studies.

      There is enough anecdotal evidence that this has been studied over and over again.

      He has many videos on marijuana and CBD oil is a separate issue than this.

      I have watched very precious young people end up losing their minds and this topic is one that I care about.

    2. It’s a video about marijuana use not CBD use or THC use.

      Users are never going to be happy when others point to evidence of harm. As many of the comments here show. None of them though have offered a critique of the evidence (calling it ‘bad’, ‘weak’ etc doesn’t represent a critical analysis of the evidence).

  10. There are many legal prescription drugs that doctors still prescribe everyday that have far worse links to psychotic disorders than cannabis. The biggest psychotic disorder and addiction issue we have seen is the DEA addicted to federal cash in its death throes over losing cannabis funding. Actual unbiased research is still stymied by the DEA on cannabis, and many of the studies that have occurred were partially or fully funded by the DEA skewing any chance on ‘unbiased’.

    (puff)

    What was I talking about?

    1. Reality bites,

      You were talking about legally prescribed drugs. Like Oxycoffin pills. Which Purdue Pharma would NEVER lie about, because, well, they’re a Big Pharma. Now these drugs really seemed to take a health toll, up to causing death. And, of course, a whole host of other social problems. And they are actually the cause of most of these problems.

      I’m sure there are many other drugs that adversely affect cognitive functions. I’ve heard statins mentioned. Which don’t actually help most people who take them. Check out the articles on this page; it’s eye opening. Or should I say, mind blowing? https://www.thennt.com/?s=Statins

      1. why do most anti-anxiety and anti-depressants come with potential side effects of suicidal thoughts? how many ‘standard’ / ‘every day’ Rx have that side effect? Like seriously, there are anti-depressants to stack on top of your existing anti-depressant meds! And whats the side effect? suicidal thoughts…

      2. The nnt site is not necessarily trustworthy. The people who run it completely ignore evidence that contradicts their claims – for example
        https://www.ajmc.com/newsroom/no-rise-in-side-effects-from-statins-when-patients-dont-know-theyre-taking-them-lancet-finds

        Frankly I am more impressed by discussions of the evidence by scientific panels such as the UK one behind its CG181 guidance. The UK NHS heavily subsidises approved drugs. It therefore has a strong vested interest in taking statins off the approved drugs list, However, an extensive and detailed analysis of the data revealed that benefits outweighed harms and indicated that both adverse events and health care costs would be significantly higher in the absence of statin drugs. Analyses by other health authorities around the world and the independent Cochrane reviews confirm this analysis.

        Believing contrary opinions on dodgy websites run by passionate advocates of some position or other isn’t always wise.

        1. Oh and Russian Roulette doesn’t actually blow the brains out of most people who play it.

          That doesn’t prove it’s harmless any more than the fact that statins only benefit a minority of users proves that they are useless. It’s all about reducing or increasing risk ….. not the absolute certainty of harm or benefit.

          1. Mr. Fumblefingers,

            You put up a straw man argument, when you said that the fact that statins only benefit a minority of uses proves that they’re useless. I never said that statins were useless. What I did say what that statins only benefit a minority of patients taking them. Which you agree with. And that they have adverse effects. Which you did not address.

            And I agree that it’s all about reducing or increasing risk, and not the absolute certainty of harm or benefits. Which is why we are here on this website, to learn about the health and longevity and other benefits and harms of different diets, and of consuming different kinds of foods, based upon the latest research evidence. With one reason presumably being to avoid as much as possible the need to take drugs such as statins. But why would we want to do that? Because we know that statins have undesirable adverse effects. (Or because they are expensive?). And they don’t help everybody who takes them. And apparently, as I understand it, what we eat and how much we move can have a much more beneficial effect on our health for many more of us than taking statins would, with greatly reduced risks.

  11. My husband of 45 years has smoked weed since 1970. Our first date was a Dead concert. He kept it hidden during the years we were raising our 4 kids, but once it became legalized for medical use he became more open about it and then once it was legalized for recreational use there was (in his opinion) no reason to hide it. At 67 he is still working full-time, by choice not necessity. The downside is that he now has heart disease and COPD. I also see some cognitive decline, which could be partly due to the statins, etc he is taking for the CAD, but I’m relatively sure is also connected to his daily smoking.

    Based on what I have seen, alcohol abuse is way more destructive than pot smoking. FYI I have only smoked a handful of times back in the 1970s and didn’t particularly like it.

  12. We are generally big fans of NutritionFacts and specifically Dr. Greger for the evidence based approach employed in most of the videos and blogs. However this video does not hold to that standard. Early in this series of videos regarding marijuana use Dr. Greger pointed out that almost all the studies done in the United States regarding marijuana use a type of marijuana that is grown in a U.S. Government facility and is a type that no one smokes. Is this new “science” relying on studies using that marijuana? If not, where did the studies come from since it was recent that Dr. Greger said that virtually all studies on marijuana draw from that particular strain of marijuana. It is very important to note, as Dr. Greger has, that vested interests corrupt the science (notably as Dr. Greger found through his freedom of information request with the egg industry). The U.S. Government is a far more formidable corrupter than big business given its resources and reach. Most people in the United States have been propagandized by the U.S. Government through the school system and the media (i.e. Reefer Madness) amd terrorized by the War on Drugs which have put people in prison for decades for simple marijuana possession. An excellent book (that is actually evidence based) by Johann Hari called “Chasing the Scream” traces the nefarious role the U.S. Government has played with regard to marijuana and other drugs.

  13. If there is a strong genetic risk factor, marijuana may influence onset, but not cause.

    Please let’s say, “People with schizophrenia”, not “Schizophrenics”. Language can influence
    our thoughts about people with this devastating disease.

  14. Whad’ya know. It’s another update on Reefer Madness. Will these people (with likely political agendas — even if that’s just chasing research grants) ever give up?
    I bet that there’s a high correlation between drinking water and schizophrenia. Ahh, you say; water isn’t psychoactive!
    All right, then let’s look at correlations with tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol… the endless march of correlates… and their possible genetic links
    Maybe it boils down to age at first use, as in the younger-the more vulnerable?
    Maybe it’s still self-medication that starts before the psychosis has fully manifested (before obvious diagnosis)?
    Before anyone starts scare-mongering, let’s be certain that the research conclusions don’t resemble a slice of Swiss cheese.

    1. In studies, ALCOHOL and other substance use did NOT cause psychoses.

      Pot was linked to psychoses in a dose-dependent manner.

      If alcohol and other substances are NOT causing it.

      Neither will water and many people drink 8 or more glasses of water per day.

      There is a level of water drinking which will kill you and that is found in the studies.

  15. I’ve not used marijuana since the early 1970’s. This allegation between marijuana and psychosis has been around for decades. I personally believe that any correlation between schizophrenia and marijuana is similar to alcohol or any other substance abuse: there probably was either a spiritual (not religious!) void or a physical/chemical imbalance that triggers repeated use of the escapist substance (alcohol, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, hash, etc.), and/or the escapist behavior (over-exercise, gambling, porn, sex, eating, etc.). Among alcoholics, depression and anxiety are often triggers for use and escape. Also among alcoholics schizophrenia is not uncommon. Schizophrenics will most likely use whatever is available to escape from their misery: alcohol, sex, food, marijuana, opiates, gambling, etc.
    IMO, the focus of the studies you cited, Dr. Greger, are – disappointingly – too shallow; too narrow. The real study should focus not just on a link between marijuana and schizophrenia, but whether schizophrenia is more common among marijuana users or other forms of escapism: alcohol, sex, hash, LSD, etc. Based on what I’ve personally seen in the world of addiction, I’ll bet that the schizophrenic – or the incipient schizophrenic – will use whatever escapist door is available to him/her, and marijuana is simply one door.

    1. Joseph,

      That is why they tried to study people before they developed schizophrenia to try to separate out people who were self-medicating to hide their disease versus those who developed it after using pot.

      1. There are studies that pot does damage the brains of young people permanently. That is young people, but people get a diagnosis of schizophrenia usually in their 20’s-ish, rather than older.

    2. No matter what, they also find that it also interacts with psychoses, apart from causing it.

      Alcohol and other substance use did NOT have the same effect.

      The results of these meta-analyses show that persons who develop psychosis experience onset of psychosis about 2-3 years earlier if they are cannabis users; this effect is not observed with alcohol or other substance use. Higher levels of cannabis use are associated with greater risk of psychosis. Current cannabis abuse or dependence (but not past use or lower levels of current use) increases the risk of transition into psychosis in persons at ultrahigh risk of psychosis. About a third of patients with first-episode psychosis are cannabis users, and, at follow-up, about half of these users are found to continue their cannabis use. Continued cannabis use (in those who are treated after developing psychosis) is associated with higher risk of relapse into psychosis, and discontinuation of cannabis use reduces the risk of relapse to that in cannabis nonusers. Finally, persons with psychosis who continue to use cannabis have more severe positive symptoms and poorer levels of functioning. Because experimental studies in humans show that cannabinoids and cannabis can induce psychotic symptoms, it is reasonable to assume that the epidemiologic data indicate a causal effect of cannabis in anticipating, triggering, or exacerbating psychosis in vulnerable individuals and in worsening the course and outcome of the illness in those who continue to use the substance.

  16. I see a difficulty in looking into cases of pot smoking preceding schizophrenia. Onset of schizophrenia is usually in the early 20’s. I believe it is rare for it to start in the teens, even late teens. I don’t know of any one who smokes pot that didn’t start in their teens.

    Along with the increase of pot smoking vs the decrease in schizophrenia, I might add that the potency of pot has increased manyfold since the 60’s. That said, there are over 400 chemicals in pot, 61 of which are cannabinoids, so there is room for the possibility that pot has changed through cultivation over the years resulting in less likely causing schizophrenia if there ever was a cause.

    As our exposure to unhealthy foods and environment in general, including psychological stressors increases with modern life, I can see how putting anything “to the test” becomes more and more difficult in isolating actual causes.

    1. Ron,

      Yes, there are over 400 chemicals in pot and it will take our whole lifetimes to even begin to study those and only if someone dynamic calls loudly enough for it.

      For instance, the vaping laws already have started changing, but a lot of the people who died from vaping were crossing over into the pot chemicals.

      They are doing studies on the brain damage done to teenagers and that will take time, too.

      The brain damage itself is all that has to be linked to psychoses to make the case.

      As far as people using. It may well be that most young people aren’t heavy users at all. Meaning, the overall number of teens using could be going up, but the number of teens using higher doses might not be going up.

      “consistently demonstrated a strong…dose-dependent association between cannabis use and the risk of psychotic disorders.”

      The brain damage itself is where my mind starts because the real question is whether it damages the brain enough to cause psychoses or whether the brain was already prone to schizophrenia. (I am not impressed by going all the way over to the genes when we have the brain itself to look at.)

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18248793

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24054726

  17. Okay, we already do know that it does permanent damage to the brains when young people do it.

    So, is any of that type of brain damage linked to schizophrenia?

  18. I’ve got two family members who developed long term psychosis on the back of smoking pot. Anecdotal but beyond any doubt this was the outcome. Obviously a predisposition but that was the trigger.

    1. N,

      I am close to people who went through the same thing. It was horrifying to watch the change in their brains and personalities.

      I looked up how the brain gets damaged in young pot smokers and one area that gets damaged is the connectivity between the hemispheres and that is a feature in schizophrenia.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4459220/

      I don’t have the science background to find everything, but that is an example.

    2. N,

      I post this for you, too. It may be anecdotal, but it isn’t your imagination.

      The results of these meta-analyses show that persons who develop psychosis experience onset of psychosis about 2-3 years earlier if they are cannabis users; this effect is not observed with alcohol or other substance use. Higher levels of cannabis use are associated with greater risk of psychosis. Current cannabis abuse or dependence (but not past use or lower levels of current use) increases the risk of transition into psychosis in persons at ultrahigh risk of psychosis. About a third of patients with first-episode psychosis are cannabis users, and, at follow-up, about half of these users are found to continue their cannabis use. Continued cannabis use (in those who are treated after developing psychosis) is associated with higher risk of relapse into psychosis, and discontinuation of cannabis use reduces the risk of relapse to that in cannabis nonusers. Finally, persons with psychosis who continue to use cannabis have more severe positive symptoms and poorer levels of functioning. Because experimental studies in humans show that cannabinoids and cannabis can induce psychotic symptoms, it is reasonable to assume that the epidemiologic data indicate a causal effect of cannabis in anticipating, triggering, or exacerbating psychosis in vulnerable individuals and in worsening the course and outcome of the illness in those who continue to use the substance.

  19. Thanks for this important post! People are experiencing this in their families. It turns your life upside down when a family member develops schizophrenia. Having a warning on packaging is probably not enough. A public awareness campaign is needed. Keep it legal and people well informed.

  20. Last time we did pot as a topic, I remember someone pointing to Jamaica and, what I remember was that they were pretty high on the list of nations with the most schizophrenia, even though they were dietarily pretty good.

    I tried to find that page again, but for some reason, I end up at the wrong WHO page whenever I search for it. Someone else always brings the right link. My Google is broken.

  21. This was a poor video and not up to the usual standards of Nutritionfacts or Dr. Greger (calling people with schizophrenia crazy). Many illogical and contradictory statements when compared to past video and comments made by Dr. Greger. And, in the people with the gene that predisposes them to use cannabis who then later develop schizophrenia, why do you immediately blame cannabis? Maybe they also have other genetic defects that cause them to get schizophrenia, or maybe it’s the same gene. Why didn’t they test people with the cannabis gene that DIDN’T use cannabis to see if they still developed schizophrenia? But even if, you could just as easily say the gene caused both, or that people that are predisposed to get schizophrenia are not only more likely self medicate with cannabis, but they’re likely to have a gene that predisposes them to cannabis use. See, this is shoddy evidence and easy to sit and poke holes in it all day. This usually happens when someone has a bias against something and I do believe Dr. Greger IS biased against cannabis, which will skew his opinion.

    1. Also, I forgot to point out that cases of schizophrenia have went down while cannabis use has skyrocketed. If cannabis influenced development of schizophrenia then cases should have skyrocketed also, but they haven’t.

      1. Adam, It seems you are arguing with info that is in agreement with you. Dr Gregor pointed out at 2:40 in the video that schizophrenia has declined in spite of pot smoking increasing. Your previous point on testing those with the gene who didn’t develop schizophrenia was addressed around 3:30 in the vid. Both of your comments are in agreement with the research as presented. It seems your arguing points with someone who is agreeing with you on those same points might be due to a bias on your part.

  22. I have discovered birthday is an important factor in sorting our different neural systems because of birthday being a fundamental mathematical dimension, phase, with respect to the annual cycle of daily levels of solar energy flow to us on this earth, particularly to our Northern Temperate Zone, that humans have apparently evolved to respond to with systematic differences in neural development, neural networking patterns and parameters. We need to rescue birthday from the archaic notions of astrology and develop a solar compass for usefully sorting our ways of being human. So, in addition to genetics having a role in pot users becoming schizophrenic and other neural problems like addiction, there needs to be attention to birthday as a significant factor in the various effects of marijuana. Sorry I haven’t published yet, but plan to soon. I’ve been studying the significance of birthday for 52 years!

  23. I think there’s a lot more to investigate here. I wonder if this effect is due to the specific psychoactive properties of the plant itself or due to the application of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides on the plants which are repeatedly absorbed and concentrated in the body after each use.

  24. One way you know something is wrong with a study is when the small limited observation is not found in the world at large…the real world. This video quickly skips over overwhelming evidence and discounts it through obviously flawed argument. The observation that schizophrenia is declining even as pot consumption has increased hugely is not really so easy to dismiss. Basically if all these little studies were true then the evidence would be overwhelming in the real world…the large scale…with the epidemic of schizophrenic people seeking treatment. But the exact opposite is observed. A VERY hand wavy suggestion that verification of the small studies conclusions is not observed in the actual population in total is due to under diagnosis is horribly and laughably flawed. If diagnosis of schizophrenia is so bad then the reliability of diagnosis for small studies is also EQUALLY questionable. Asserting that hordes of people with schizophrenia, a disease with VERY profound and overt symptoms, are not diagnosed is absurd.

    The “genes” for pot smoking are painfully obvious. Researchers ALREADY know that blacks have a higher rates of schizophrenia. Researchers ALREADY know that blacks are more likely to be convicted of pot possession. Put the two together and call it “genes” and you have instant funding with guaranteed results that the funders want. Which really gets to why there are so many studies suggesting scary health issues from pot smoking, There has been a HUGE bias in funding of pot research based upon whether negative aspects of consumption are expected. The result is a plethora of studies showing increased schizophrenia from pot consumption that is nowhere to be found in the real world.

  25. Apologies for the double post but I forgot to mention there is a nutritional aspect to schizophrenia, Specifically vit D deficiency is suspected to play a role in the disease.

  26. I question some of the information in the video having worked in the mental health field for 35 years. I think symptoms may present several years prior to receiving a diagnosis. Therefore I think or would have you consider that those who smoked cannabis in the years preceding their diagnoses were already experiencing stress related issues that induced cannabis use.

    1. Roger,

      This study is one where pot made things worse and caused psychosis to come a few years earlier and more frequent and with greater symptoms is all I needed to hear in response to your skepticism.

      The results of these meta-analyses show that persons who develop psychosis experience onset of psychosis about 2-3 years earlier if they are cannabis users; this effect is not observed with alcohol or other substance use. Higher levels of cannabis use are associated with greater risk of psychosis. Current cannabis abuse or dependence (but not past use or lower levels of current use) increases the risk of transition into psychosis in persons at ultrahigh risk of psychosis. About a third of patients with first-episode psychosis are cannabis users, and, at follow-up, about half of these users are found to continue their cannabis use. Continued cannabis use (in those who are treated after developing psychosis) is associated with higher risk of relapse into psychosis, and discontinuation of cannabis use reduces the risk of relapse to that in cannabis nonusers. Finally, persons with psychosis who continue to use cannabis have more severe positive symptoms and poorer levels of functioning. Because experimental studies in humans show that cannabinoids and cannabis can induce psychotic symptoms, it is reasonable to assume that the epidemiologic data indicate a causal effect of cannabis in anticipating, triggering, or exacerbating psychosis in vulnerable individuals and in worsening the course and outcome of the illness in those who continue to use the substance.

      1. Deb. You don’t specify which study you are writing about, but the mixing of the general term “psychosis” in a discussion specifically about schizophrenia can really muddle the issue. Pot causes immediate effects that are very similar to psychosis, particularly paranoia. But that is just a particular of the immediate intoxication. This appears to be observable across a wide spectrum of environments. But confusing this immediate effect with disease can confuse the issue tremendously. It would be like measuring the immediate effect of peripheral vision reduction with alcohol consumption and throwing that into data about the risk of blindness from alcohol consumption. Analysis requires discernment.

        So HEALTHY people who consume pot have reduced function and the particular experience of paranoid thoughts. There are LOTS of reasons to not consume pot. But the schizophrenia scare is VERY old news and is rather roundly and definitively refuted by the reduction in schizophrenia at the same time as a four fold increase in pot consumption. So psychotic symptoms? Sure. The “high” has psychotic symptoms built in. Pot consumption has health risks no matter how it is consumed. Any intoxication has health risks if for no other reason than the differences in judgement that happen when intoxicated. Intoxicated people do silly things and people get hurt.

        Young people have an impulse to find themselves the new and improved versions of humanity. This is clearly recognized as a willingness to reject existing assertions. Putting out exaggerated claims of harm are hallmarks of past marijuana prohibition propaganda. Reefer madness led youth in the past to reject ANY claims of risk with pot. Dredging up reefer madness again will likely have the same effect. And there a lots of risks that DON’T have a firm foundation in the prior reefer madness nonsense and don’t have hugely powerful and strong evidence indicating the madness assertion is incorrect. The reduction of schizophrenia while there is a massive increase in consumption is a 500 lb gorilla that just can’t reasonably and honestly swept aside. It is the only direct proximal measure. All others require extrapolation and assumptions. If the distal measures were correct then they would be reflected in the proximal measure but they are not found in the proximal measure. Therefor the distal measures are incorrect. Period. The distal can NEVER responsibly supplant the proximal measure.

    2. Based on your 35 years experience, I am wondering if the diagnosis of schizophrenia has changed in criteria in the past 40 years or so. I ask because of the part of the vid that shows a decline in schizophrenia. I wonder if the decline is due to changed diagnosis.

  27. I’ve heard scientists describe the marijuana effect on the nervous system as enhancing synaptic connections. That might explain its useage providing early warnings of neural problems to come and making existing problems worse.

    1. Barb, both Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Dale Bredesen recommend supplementing with omega 3’s. Dr. Valter Longo’s diet includes a fairly high amount of omega 3 containing foods, (3x a week).
      If people aren’t eating enough of those foods, i.e. WFPB, I think they need to get EPA and DHA somewhere.

      1. Marilyn,

        I think that the ones pointing away from supplements tell people to not eat nuts.

        If people eat things like nuts, I think they are back to needing to supplement.

        I forget how it competes.

        Whether it changes the Omega 3/6 ratio or prevents the conversion from ALA to Omega 3.

        Something like that.

        Does that sound right to you?

    2. It’s amazing how often the diet gurus aren’t always on the same page. :-/

      I grew up in the Upper Midwest and can always spot a fellow Midwesterner (Dr. Klapper). I notice the “twang” in myself sometimes too, even though I’ve lived most of my life in NY state. For instance, I drop the “g” from words. “I’m goin’.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/02/what-dialect-to-do-you-speak-a-map-of-american-english/

      1. YT,

        That is interesting.

        When I moved to California, they had the exact same accent that I had, but when I went to other parts of the country, some would ask me what country I am from.

    1. Deb, eating nuts would change the 6 to 3 ratio. But the fact that Ornish with his emphasis on a low fat heart healthy diet recommends omega 3 supplementation to his patients speaks volumes to me.
      Studies show that DHA increases BDNF, especially when taken before exercise. Some doctors, such as Bredesen advise adding curcumin also with the omega 3 to enhance the effect.

  28. I am posting this one down here, too.

    I thought the vaping part and cardiovascular visits involving pot parts were interesting.

    My friends father died and was brought back to life after his first pot edible. He may have had the MTHFR thing. His daughters do.

    This article is fascinating and it gave a statistic on ER visits for cardiovascular issues being highly linked to pot use.

    They link it to MTHFR and talk about vaping.

    Maybe a clue to why people are dropping dead?

    http://naturesbreakthrough.com/mthfr-its-reaction-with-cannabis/

    1. I know it could be a scam product sales gimmick.

      I got there from wondering whether pot increased Homocysteine and whether schizophrenia was associated with high Homocysteine.

      Yes, I look up the usual suspects every topic.

                1. It also messes up electrolytes.

                  Are there pot-related electrolyte imbalance problems similar to fasting?

                  People who are fasting might get in trouble faster if they also smoke pot. I say that to the cancer community.

                    1. Strenuous exercise can cause heart attacks and strokes.

                      My min goes to people I have known who died playing soccer and ping pong.

                      Exercise increases blood pressure but lowers hypertension.

                    2. Perhaps strenuous exercise is like fasting in that respect..

                      In physically fit, healthy individuals without certain genetic abnormalities, medical conditions or risk factors. carefully planned and controlled doses of exercise/fasting may be beneficial. In others, they can increase the risk of adverse events.

                1. Thanks, Marilyn!

                  I have been thinking about that topic quite a bit because my cousin is 65 and he is a lifetime cigarette smoker who is still smoking and is Diabetic and getting Dialysis.

                  The thing is, he could try to switch from cigarettes to pot and that has been suggested to him and I originally said, “Maybe that it is a good idea” and then, I drove home and thought of my friend’s father who ate one pot edible and literally dropped dead within an hour. He was revived, but he passed out within a few minutes of eating the edible and really did die within an hour and was resuscitated.

                  My cousin is doing okay right now. He has been having heart episodes and blood sugar issues since he started dialysis and went in and out of the hospital, but he has been home for a month and felt well enough to drive and go grocery shopping.

                  Would switching to pot just cause him to drop dead?

  29. I am just posting the video for people to check out if they are interested. I did watch it. Dr Klaper says the evidence is just not there, and he personnally does not take it anymore.

    1. Barb, I do appreciate your posting this video with Dr. Klapper. People need all the info they can get. It’s hard to balance these things.
      So thank you.

    2. Very interesting. Thanks. Walnuts,and chia/flax seeds are largely unavailable/unaffordable where I live though.

      Mainstream nutritional advice is of course to avoid supplements (except B12) but to eat oily fish several times a week That’s consistent with a WFPB diet but I don’t eat fish for ethical reasons.

      I will have to check out those prostate cancer papers and think this through further.

      1. Tom,

        Dr Ornish reversed prostrate cancer while having people take Omega 3’s.

        Also, the people who have stopped recommending it, are not acknowledging the fact that it was successful in studies with MRI’s at maintaining brain volume and if people don’t take it and don’t get enough Omega 3’s, once That brain volume is gone, it is gone. That is a huge risk.

        1. When you get older, you don’t convert as well.

          The people who don’t want you to supplement say to not eat nuts or foods higher in Omega 6.

          1. No, you are mistaken Deb. If you watch the video you will see that Dr Klapper does (as he always has) recommend flax, chia, walnuts, greens etc for omega 3. While we might not agree with people’s ideas, it isn’t good to misquote them either.
            And I did ask the neurologist in september about the study that Dr Greger quoted in the brain volume thing… the german study. He said no, don’t bother with omega 3 supplements unless you are taking high enough dose (2.1 grams fish omega 3 they used) and it’s prescription/pharmaceutical grade.

            1. What am I misquoting him about? I didn’t say that Dr. Klaper said anything.

              I was saying that soy, corn and nuts have Omega 3 and that those compete with the ALA conversion. The discussion about the things competing with conversion were covered by VegSource and another researcher who works with Dr. McDougall.

              I am not disagreeing with you about what Dr Klaper is recommending.

              But people who don’t eat those foods still need to get DHA and people who eat a lot of things like soy may have reduced ability to convert from ALA to Omega 3’s.

        2. I had a look all the links given by Klaper.. Now I recall looking at these when we had all the Jeff Nelson kerfuffle a while ago.

          They didn’t convince me then. They don’t convince me now.

          A problem is that these are observational studies. They can’t prove cause and effect. A further issue is that they are only studies of blood omega 3 levels not omega 3 consumption. Whether dietary or from supplements. They also showed that blood trans fatty acid levels are associated with lower risk. That is a puzzling observation.

          Further, some studies of actual dietary omega 3 consumption show an even greater effect on prostate cancer mortality – but in the opposite direction

          ‘Among all men, those with the highest omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid and total marine fatty acid intakes were 40% less likely to die from prostate cancer (Ptrend = 0.05 and 0.04, respectively).’
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491963/

          Anyway, prostate cancer isn’t the only factor we should consider.

          ‘The top quartile of plasma PC DHA level was associated with a significant 47% reduction in the risk of developing all-cause dementia in the Framingham Heart Study.’
          https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/792707

          While these were both quite small studies, I think that I will continue to take a supplement in the absence of more convincing evidence in the opposite direction.

          1. Since writing that, I came across the very latest (30 September 2019) meta analysis of randomised controlled trials on CVD and omega 3 supplementation. Incidentally, I find such things considerably more convincing than simple observational studies like those prostate cancer papers.

            This one actually found

            “The current updated meta‐analysis builds upon a previous one including 10 large RCTs and provides an up‐to‐date assessment regarding the effects of marine omega‐3 supplementation and risks of multiple subtypes of CVD end points. The inclusion of 3 additional studies, increasing samples size by 64% and contributing 11% to 45% of the total weight of the CVD end points in the current analysis, has a substantial influence on the available evidence. In contrast with recent meta‐analysis, our study suggests that MI, total CHD, CHD death, total CVD, and CVD death are reduced by marine omega‐3 supplementation (even after excluding REDUCE‐IT) and that higher doses of marine omega‐3 supplementation are significantly associated with reduced risk of total CVD and major vascular events. Despite the modest effect sizes for some of the CVD outcomes, the use of marine omega‐3 supplementation may still help prevent large absolute numbers of CVD events, given the high incidence rates of CVD worldwide. Finally, our results were generally consistent with previous findings that indicated that marine omega‐3 supplementation was not associated with risk of stroke.”
            https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.013543

            It would be interesting to see if Dr G and the NF team were to change their advice on this point after reviewing this new study. Perhaps we will have to wait and see if this study persuades the AHA/ACC to revisit their current guidelines on omega 3 supplementation and primary prevention, before getting a new recommendation from Dr G..

            1. Mr. Fumblefingers,

              Whenever I read a reference to “marine omega-3” I wish that it referred to algal or plankton omega-3 fatty acids, since that is where the fish get it. And we could too, I guess.

              Just as when I’m asked, in response to my statement that I don’t eat animal products, “Do you eat seafood?” I reply: “Yes. Sea vegetables. Such as dulse.” Furrowed foreheads follow. Why does “sea food” always refer to “sea animals?” (Corollary: Why are fish not considered animals?)

              1. They used “icosapent ethyl 4 grams/day (2 grams twice daily with food)”

                It is a prescription drug and derivative of EPA. It is also a very high dose

                Note that the participants all had existing diseases (CVD or diabetes).

          2. Yeah,

            I looked at those studies, too.

            Plus, the MRI study already was pretty convincing to me.

            Preserving brain volume is pretty important.

          1. Fumbles, true that.

            Here’s this guy’s take on it:

            “None of this ethical expedience is necessarily a bad thing; indeed it’s a necessary skill for a species with a conscience like ours trying to make its way in a morally ambiguous world. But we shouldn’t pretend it’s more than expedience. The vegetarian’s truth is no more legitimate than the pescetarian’s or the red-in-fang carnivore’s.”

            https://time.com/97479/carnivore-vegetarian-animals-meat/

            1. I would rather eat the whole food ie fish instead of a pill. Every doctor in the long line (too long!) of specialists I talk to this year say to eat fish, once or twice a week, small amounts.

              1. * Except in cases like Fumbles and those living where omega 3 rich sources like chia, flax and walnuts etc are not available…. but that goes without saying. We do what we gotta do!

              2. Barb,

                And do you say, “No, no, never! I won’t do it for ethical reasons!” And might they say, “But you might die if you don’t!” And again you say, “No, no, never! I won’t do it for ethical reasons.”

                Maybe you could do what the Native Americans do:

                “Say thank you to the members of the plant and animal kingdoms who have given up their life so we can continue ours: the vegetable, berry, four legged, swimmer and winged nations.”

                https://www.mollylarkin.com/a-native-american-teaching-on-the-gift-of-food/

                1. lol YR, if I find some fish that I like that I can afford, then I might buy some. There is a nice Italian soup/stew made with pieces of white fish that I like. Here, check this out https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-vegans-take-dha-to-preserve-brain-function/ Over 1100 comments because it is a video about pills ! This is what I was saying the other day. I find it odd, if not a little hypocritical, that people on a whole plant foods forum get into a frenzy about pills and supplements. Maybe I am missing something.

                  If I can bend your ear a moment longer YR, I want to share what I have been thinking about lately. I know people keep talking about the “science” on here, but honestly, I have reached a point where I have zero confidence in the so-called science. I research all day, read studies, read Fumbles, Deb’s, and many other’s studies too, some good, some very poorly done… but almost always I can line up “science” to say whatever. 6 studies saying one thing can be countered with 6 saying another. It’s really become so fake, so artificial.

                  1. Bend my ear, Barb? I so agree with your last two sentences. “Page fillers,” is what I call much of what we see and hear. And a saying comes to mind: “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

                    I take it all with a hefty grain of salt. :-)

            2. That’s his ‘truth’ then. I am impressed though that he can unerringly read the mind of a hypothetical animal. I have trouble knowing my own mind at times.

              But I don’t really believe in ‘truth’ There is factual accuracy and there are values, beliefs and principles.

              Using ‘truth’ to refer to all these very different concepts causes endless confusion IMHO.

              It seems very difficult to justify killing other living creatures when it’s not in self-defence or otherwise necessary for my survival. Others clearly think differently but the fuzzy language of justification as here seems very difficult to follow. The argument such as it is would work just as well as a justification for cannibalism. .

              1. Mr. Fumblefingers,

                I can’t justify eating fish, or any other animal for the reasons that it’s unsustainable, environmentally degrading, and cruel, to both the animals and the workers in that industry. Including the fishing industry. And also, there is the contribution of eating animal products to climate warming, though that reason could fall under my first or second reason. All good reasons by themselves.

                And yes, I don’t like killing animals. Luckily, I have the option not to. And to avoid outsourcing this degrading task to others. And best of all, not eating animal products appears to be one of the, if not the, healthiest ways to eat. So for me, it’s a multiple win situation.

  30. Informative video, but is there really need to call people who are afflicted by schizophrenia “crazy”? It’s a shame that such terms make it to otherwise excellent research. I advise to cut this phrase out from this video.

  31. Thanks for the informative video. One observation though: there is a very high asymmetry in the risk/reward of using cannabis. If cannabis use led to a 1 in 140 chance of getting, for example, very bad acne, then that is a chance one might take for the personal benefits of cannabis. But if using cannabis led to a 1 in 140 chance your plane would crash on your next flight, you probably would not use it. In my view acquiring schizophrenia from cannabis use is more like the plane crash than the bad acne. So there is very high (no pun intended :) asymmetry in the risk of using cannabis (getting schizophrenia) versus the reward (getting high, stress relief, etc). Something to consider before using.

    1. Cliff,

      I agree.

      Having watched a few young people end up in psychosis following regular pot use, watching lives get destroyed affects me more than anything about this topic.

      Plus, it is considered “stress relief” but it raises cortisol and blood pressure and is in the systems of a significant amount of cardiovascular ER patients is what I read and I do know someone who ate his first pot edible and immediately passed out at the distribution center and within an hour he died and was revived with paddles at the ER. The doctors said that it wasn’t the pot, it was his heart condition but timing-wise, it was directly related to eating a pot edible and I believe if they weren’t wanting legalization so bad they might have acknowledged the timing.

    1. My friend’s father ate one pot edible and ended up on the floor and dead within an hour.

      Though, from my experience, the doctors tell you to give people whatever they want on their deathbed, then they try to strongarm you into giving them nothing at all, even if they are asking for food or drinks.

      So maybe try it a few months before your death bed.

  32. Is being addicted to marijuana, anymore harmful than being addicted to caffeine, or chocolate. Other than the fact it’s still illegal and can be arrested for it.

    1. David Armstrong, my cardiologist asked me (within the first 3 questions) if I smoked dope. I told him no, and asked why he asked. His words were, ” the ‘Boomers’ are dropping like flies”. He didn’t ask me about coffee, chocolate, meat or coconut oil. Just that one thing.

      1. With this topic, schizophrenia, and with psychosis in general, marijuana is worse than caffeine and chocolate.

        Barb,

        Someone else said something similar to me – that their heart doctor said marijuana was killing people who had heart problems.

        The article I read yesterday said that 15-37 percent of all visits to the ER for cardiovascular emergencies involve cannabis use.

        If that is true, that seems ridiculously high. I would suspect that way more older adults don’t smoke pot, than do. From what I see, most older adults, even adults with heart problems don’t use it. Most young people have tried it. A few become users and those are the ones who seem to drop out of life.

        Cancer patients would be an exception. That is the community that seems to use it. Not heart patients that I see.

        I have one relative who died at 40 who was a user and a good friend from high school who went that direction and she died around 40, too. I have someone who I socialized with in California who developed psychosis in his 30’s and became an unemployed person sleeping on couches and a young man around me developed psychosis and got banned from the small town grocery stores and another young person who developed serious anxiety.

        I would have thought it calms people down, but paranoia and anxiety are how I would have described all of these people, even if their personalities were mellow and they were passive in their personalities.

      2. In my opinion, I think boomers are dropping like flies because they eat a diet full of saturated fats of fried and overly processed foods., they don’t eat veggies anymore, many don’t exercise at all. High fructose corn-syrup is being added to everything food possible. They take no resposibilty for their health, and think health comes from a pill at the dr’s office. They don’t see desserts as toxic foods and eat ice cream like it’s the apocalypse. But perhaps your doctor is right, it’s probably just the weed .

        End

        1. DArmstrong,

          No, people separately are also dying from saturated fats and overly processed foods and being obese, but the people I know who dropped like flies with pot use never became fat and were not wealthy enough for processed foods. My relative, who died at 40 never would eat the desserts at the parties. Neither would my friend from high school. She was a skinny mini who drank tea. My relative who died at 50 would fit within your categories. My worker who uses eats salad – his bag of salad has been sitting in the fridge since the last time I saw him and he has a bag of mixed vegetables in the freezer, but he shows up now about once a week. He is fairly good at his job when he comes, but is constantly searching for answers about health problems and mental health problems and doesn’t think that it might be related to his using. We need part-time workers and he only gets paid when he works and he stopped sneaking off to nap, he just doesn’t come and now works when he does come and that is okay with me, but I have watched people lose their minds on pot and similar to the study where the psychosis improves when they go off of it, the man who I know who got banned from the local stores got off of it and became “normal” again. I haven’t seen him for several months, but he switched from psychotic to normal going back off of it again and said that a hospital security guard had gotten him back on pot.

          1. I don’t know if the MTHFR thing is why some people end up with the cardiovascular problems or high pressure or stress in their lives and pot raises blood pressure and cortisol and Homocysteine.

            Either way, pot raises blood pressure and cortisol and can raise Homocysteine and increases APoC-111 and elevates triglycerides.

            So, it does become part of the equation.

            1. “I don’t know if the MTHFR..”
              – – – –

              There she goes….cussin’ up a storm again! :-)

              Admit it. MTHFR reminds (most of) us of something else.

          2. Interesting stuff Deb. Where do you live. I live in central Texas and people here eat hamburgers loaded with Bacon and no veggies, they like bbq and maybe some slaw, and chicken fried steak smothered in gravy with side of french fries. Most kids walk around swigging either a energy drink or a soda, and can’t do an activity without parents bringing more junk food to eat.
            The food I see people posting on the internet is stuff we might indulge for thanksgiving on a daily basis. I’ve none a few pot heads in my day. Never seen one go off the deep end yet. However, it does often rob them of their productivity. No the whole juule thing and vaping that is the rage now is probably as bad as smoking, because of the chemicals added. But now I’ve been hearing about pot having fungus and pesticides too. So perhaps your right. I don’t smoke pot and haven’t in over 35 years, I only associate with one person who smokes pot now, so may not have the same prospective as you. Cheers. My point about “being addicted to pot vs coffee.” Is as far as addictions go I’ve never seen someone sell their kids for joint. Unlike alcohol, heroine, meth, OxyContin, to name a few, of the deadly drugs out there, pot seems more like coffee than a disaster.

            End

            1. David Armstrong, yes I see what you are saying.. I have a friend , retired now, but a univ proffessor that lived his pot. He underwent a quadruple bypass at 58. But, I am also surrounded by a community heavily addicted to alcohol, heroin/fentanyl, oxicontin, meth, crack, and lots of pot. If we are talking degrees of unmanageability here then yes, pot would be far down on the list imo. (just from what I see)

          3. People whose jobs allow them to work or not work when they please and wander off and sleep. Guys banned from local stores. People without the means to obtain processed foods. People who are on and off psychotics.

            I think you may have conceptions based upon a very special slice of the population rather than pot.

  33. I would be curious to see if they are using it to self medicate I have a couple acquaintances that have mental health issues that use it to self medicate. I believe it was a preexisting condition that pot helped them regulate.

  34. The addiction rate for daily users is one in two, for high potency product addiction poses higher risks. Adult addiction rate to marijuana is between one in 9 – 11 varying with potency, with youth that rate is one in six. Not rare – compared to tobacco, which is one in three.
    Here is a fascinating study – well worth the read.

    Subject: violence in offspring – Jama – peer reviewed look at the size and length of this study

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27580483

    RESULTS:
    We examined 1 743 525 cohort members (48.7% female; total follow-up, 27.2 million person-years). Risks for offspring suicideattempt and violent offending were elevated across virtually the full spectrum of parental psychiatric disease. Incidence rate ratios were the most elevated for parental diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder (suicide attempt, 3.96; 95% CI, 3.72-4.21; violent offending, 3.62; 95% CI, 3.41-3.84) and cannabis misuse (suicide attempt, 3.57; 95% CI, 3.25-3.92; violent offending, 4.05; 95% CI, 3.72-4.39), and for parentalsuicide attempt (suicide attempt, 3.42; 95% CI, 3.29-3.55; violent offending, 3.31; 95% CI, 3.19-3.44). Parental mood disorders (and bipolar disorder in particular) conferred more modest risk increases. A history of mental illness or suicide attempt in both parents was associated with double the risks compared with having just 1 affected parent. Associations between parental psychiatric disease and offspring violent offending were stronger for female than for male offspring, whereas little sex difference in risk was found for offspring suicide attempt.

    CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
    The similarities in risk patterns observed between the 2 outcomes may evidence a shared etiology. Early interventions to tackle parental mental disorders may be beneficial to both parents and children

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27580483

  35. Marijuana is only really physically addictive, or so I’ve heard. It’s best used therapeutically. I recommend edibles, easier to find your dose, please go for higher CBD strains, amazing stuff if used correctly. Many get paranoid, that’s another issue, not the marijuana friends, as it can exacerbate mental symptoms. Also, helps to be taken in a controlled environment, like before bed, and keeps you in bed, great for those who don’t know how to slow down, and need rest & recovery.
    Michael Phelps comes to mind. Use it, don’t abuse.

  36. They haven’t quoted 2009 Murray et al found cannabis did cause a transient psychotic episode.

    Morrison PD, Zois V, McKeown DA, Lee TD, Holt DW, Powell JF Kapur S, Murray RM. The acute effects of synthetic intravenous Delta- THC on psychosis, mood and cognitive functioning. Psychological Medicine doi:10.1017/S0033291709005522 2009

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