facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Why Does Pot Make Some People Psychotic?

The risk of marijuana-induced psychosis may have a genetic origin, new research finds.

Image: 

A psychotic episode can harsh your mellow.
Photo via

By Sarah Beller

11/19/12

| Share

Why does marijuana make some people mellow, while inducing psychotic episodes in others? According to a new article in Biological Psychiatry, scientists have pinpointed a genetic marker associated with an increased risk of cannabis-induced psychosis in certain individuals. Led by Dr. Marta Di Forti, a team of psychiatrists studied a variation in the AKT1 gene, which is involved in dopamine signaling and known to be abnormal in instances of psychosis. The team performed genotyping and assessed cannabis use for 489 patients who had experienced an episode of psychosis and 278 who had not. Their results show that people with the genetic marker who use cannabis are twice as likely to experience psychosis compared with those who use the drug but don’t have the genetic marker; and for people who light up every day, the risk for psychosis increases sevenfold for those who have the genetic marker. "Our findings help to explain why one cannabis user develops psychosis while his friends continue smoking without problems," says Di Forti. Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry, hopes that research into the genetic underpinnings of “cannabis psychosis” may lead to the development of therapies for the condition, as well as biological tests that could be used to inform marijuana-prescribing physicians of their patients' risks. The drug's potential to induce psychosis is considered a greater public health concern now that the drug is legal for recreational use in Washington and Colorado, and for medical use in a growing number of states. 

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Big Brother, Where Art Thou?

I barely made it out of my troubled adolescence and I had resources; how can I help an underprivileged teen with everything stacked against him?

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv