Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


More evidence of cannabis-induced psychosis


Cannabis-based medicines given in a highly-controlled clinical environment unexpectedly lead to strong psychotic effects

Volunteers taking cannabis-based therapeutic drugs as part of a controlled trial, which had been approved by an ethics board as safe for the subjects, experienced psychotic effects just as strong as if they had smoked cannabis. These findings, highly unexpected in such a controlled environment, are published today in the peer-reviewed, Open Access journal BMC Psychiatry.

Dr Bernard Favrat and colleagues, from the Institut Universitaire de Medecine Legale in Switzerland, were conducting a clinical trial into the effects of orally administered delta-9-tetrahydrocannibol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, when two of their male subjects experienced impaired psychomotor functions and severe anxiety typical of cannabis-induced psychosis.

When smoking cannabis, the effects of THC on psychomotor functions usually start once the concentration in the blood has reached 10ng/ml plasma. The trial should have been safe as the subjects were given low doses of THC and had much lower concentrations in their blood. However the two male subjects experienced their reactions with blood concentrations of 4.7ng/ml and 6.2 ng/ml, respectively.

Favrat and colleagues found that both subjects reported severe anxiety and impaired psychomotor functions. Other effects included transient symptoms of derealisation and depersonalisation, and paranoid delusions. They were described by one subject as worse than those experienced after smoking cannabis. One subject was given dronabinol, a synthetic THC that has been in medical use in the USA since 1985. The other subject was asked to drink a decoction of natural THC. The authors hypothesise that the effect may have been because the THC had been ingested, rather than inhaled; digesting THC may produce potent THC metabolites, which induce psychotic effects.

Research into designing THC-based medications has boomed in the last few years, due to the many therapeutic effects of THC. These drugs could be used to alleviate muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients, restore appetite in AIDS patients and alleviate pain and nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Such research has to be approved to ensure that it is treating patients ethically and safely. Dr Favrat’s research had been approved, which makes the findings even more unexpected.

Favrat and colleagues’ report adds to the body of evidence that cannabis might be more harmful than previously thought. In the UK, cannabis was downgraded to class C early last year, but government officials have called for a review of the decision following a series of studies revealing that cannabis dramatically increases the risk of developing mental illnesses.

Juliette Savin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>