According to a survey conducted in 2023, 17 percent of American adults smoke marijuana. Additionally, around half of adults in the United States declared to have tried marijuana at least once. Over the last decades, the percentage of people who tried marijuana experienced an increase.
With the rising popularity of marijuana, it’s important to understand the risks. One of the most severe potential side effects is weed-induced psychosis. This occurs when someone experiences psychotic symptoms after using pot, such as delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia.
While marijuana may be legal and seem harmless to some, it’s essential to understand the potential mental health risks. Weed-induced psychosis is not a joke and can have lasting consequences.
What Is Weed-Induced Psychosis?
Weed-induced psychosis can occur when marijuana triggers an episode of psychosis in some individuals. While rare, it can happen, especially in those with a preexisting mental health condition. Psychosis causes a loss of contact with reality.
The main symptoms are delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there). Weed-induced psychosis usually comes on suddenly after using marijuana and goes away once the drug’s effects have worn off.
However, in some cases, it may become chronic, lasting even after the marijuana has left your system. Those with schizophrenia or who are predisposed to it are more prone to experiencing psychosis from marijuana use.
Although weed does not directly cause schizophrenia, it may trigger the onset or relapses in those susceptible. The link between cannabis and schizophrenia is still unclear, but there is evidence the drug can induce psychotic episodes in people with the mental illness or who are prone to developing it.
In most instances of weed-induced psychosis, the symptoms are temporary. However, recurrent episodes of psychosis from marijuana use could lead to longer-lasting problems. The risk is higher for teens and young adults, as their brains are still developing.
Marijuana Psychosis Symptoms
The symptoms of marijuana-induced psychosis can be scary. You may experience:
- Hallucinations. Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. These sensations seem very real but are created by your mind.
- Dissociation. Feeling detached from yourself or the world around you. You may feel like you’re outside your body watching yourself. This can make the world feel strange or unreal.
- Disordered thoughts. Your thoughts become jumbled, chaotic, or don’t make sense. Persistent, disturbing thoughts you can’t control may plague you.
- Changes in mood or behavior. You may react in ways that seem inappropriate or out of character. Your emotions and how you express them can become unpredictable.
If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms after using marijuana, seek medical help right away. Cannabis-induced psychosis is usually temporary, but getting the right treatment and avoiding further drug use is critical to prevent long-term problems.
How to Prevent Weed-Induced Psychosis
To help prevent weed-induced psychosis, there are a few key things you can do:
Avoid Frequent Or Heavy Cannabis Use
Using marijuana often or in large amounts is more likely to trigger psychotic symptoms in some people. The safest option is to avoid cannabis altogether, especially if you have a personal or family history of mental illness.
Stay Socially Connected
Strong social support can help reduce the risk of psychosis. Connecting with others who care about your well-being provides a safety net if you experience symptoms. Let close ones know about your cannabis use and ask them to check in on you regularly. Their observations can help identify warning signs early.
High stress levels may increase the chances of psychosis for some cannabis users. Try relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation to keep stress in check. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising also help maintain good mental health and stability.
See A Doctor If Symptoms Appear
The earlier the treatment starts, the better. If you notice any psychotic symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, or paranoia after using weed, see your doctor right away. They may refer you to a mental health professional who can properly assess what’s going on and determine appropriate treatment.
How Dangerous is Weed-Induced Psychosis?
While weed-induced psychosis is typically not dangerous or long-lasting, there are some risks to be aware of. The vast majority of people who experience psychotic symptoms after using cannabis are not violent or dangerous.
However, in rare cases, delusional thinking or paranoia may cause erratic or risky behavior that could potentially harm themselves or others. For example, someone may become convinced their friend means to hurt them and try to protect themselves or believe they have special powers that lead them to engage in very dangerous acts like reckless driving or jumping from heights.
Though uncommon, these situations highlight the importance of using cannabis responsibly and avoiding high doses, especially when first starting or returning to use after a long break. If someone you know exhibits signs of psychosis after using marijuana, try to keep them safe and calm until the effects wear off, which typically takes 8-24 hours. Seek medical help immediately if symptoms worsen or last longer than a day.
Seek Help Today You Will Still Have The Time and Flexibility To Work Through Your Addiction
The decision to seek help for a loved one struggling with cannabis-induced psychosis is never easy. However, the sooner treatment begins, the better the chances of recovery. You will still have the time and flexibility to work through the addiction, even if the road ahead seems long. Don’t lose hope – recovery is possible with the right treatment and support. Call MD Home Detox today at 1 (888) 592-7931. Our caring team has guided many families through this journey and is here to help you 24/7. We understand the questions you have because we’ve heard them before.