It is estimated that 70% of schizophrenia patients experience hallucinations. The most common hallucinations are auditory, followed by visual hallucinations. You are not schizophrenic, so why am I telling you this?
The thing is, according to studies we all hallucinate but in different ways. If you have schizophrenia and you smoke or ingest marijuana, the hallucinations may become worse.
Question, can weed make you hallucinate?
Does Weed Make You Hallucinate?
According to an article that was recently published in the Biological Psychiatry journal, there have been ten research studies that have examined the association between marijuana and psychotic disorders. Out of the ten studies, seven studies found a link between marijuana use and later psychotic disorders in the future.
It’s worth noting that all the studies approached the question in different ways meaning more research is needed. So don’t jump to conclusions.
The question you have right now is does marijuana use trigger psychosis later in life?
Some say it does and some say it doesn’t, the question is, do you know what psychosis really is?
Psychosis is best defined as a collection of symptoms including delusions and hallucinations that occur together over a period of time. A person suffering from psychosis loses touch with reality and he or she has trouble telling the difference between what’s real and what’s not. It affects the way you think, feel and behave.
Here is the thing, from personal experience I can tell you that some strains of weed cause hallucinations. I noticed that each time I smoke Sativa strains, I get really paranoid and sometimes I see and hear things. My thoughts are always about cops kicking in my door or some kind of creature or should I say demon watching me. On the other hand, when I smoke indica strains, I don’t experience hallucinations or delusions. I don’t know, could be the low THC content or CBD counteracting THC. Tell us your thoughts on this in the comment section.
If you smoke as much marijuana as I do, you understand what I am talking about. Normally the episodes last for some minutes and then they go away.
What is Marijuana Induced Psychosis?
‘Marijuana-induced psychosis’ sounds scary, doesn’t it? Relax, it is not as bad as it sounds, however, if you have an underlying mental condition such as paranoia, it can get real bad.
If you experience psychosis during withdrawal, that is an indicator that you might be addicted to weed. See the thing is, marijuana withdrawal symptoms are very rare i.e. very few people experience them. If you experience them it means that your body has become dependent on the drug to function.
What Are The Symptoms?
The most common symptoms of marijuana-induced psychosis are as hinted above are visual and auditory hallucinations. Other symptoms include:
- Memory problems
What is Schizophrenia and Does Marijuana Cause It?
Here is the truth, when a young person with a history of substance abuse develops a mental disorder such as schizophrenia; the people around him/her assume that the mental disorder was triggered by the individual’s misuse of the drug in question. Sometimes they are right but most of the time they are wrong, why?
According to experts, determining the risk of schizophrenia is very complicated because of one very simple reason, it involves potential gene-environment interactions. That is according to doctor Kane from psychiatry.com.
Schizophrenia is a highly heritable condition, in fact, research suggests that having a family history of schizophrenia or paranoid personality increases the risk of developing schizophrenia.
The reason why some people think that marijuana causes psychosis is very simple. The acute side effects of marijuana resemble some symptoms of schizophrenia, For example, feelings of depersonalization, inexplicable mirth and loss of motivation. These symptoms may be assumed to be related to schizophrenia.
Should I Seek Help If I Experience Hallucinations?
What are you smoking?
According to research, today’s cannabis is 20 times stronger than it was 20 years ago. We still don’t know the long-term side effects of high strength cannabis, but I can tell you this. High strength cannabis is bad for you, why?
There is the risk of addiction and some researchers think that high strength cannabis may damage nerve fibers or increase the risk of psychosis later on in life.
You don’t have to give up weed if you are worried about the long-term unknown consequences of high strength cannabis. All you have to do is learn to moderate intake. Don’t smoke marijuana like the world is ending tomorrow, instead, smoke what you need and leave the rest for tomorrow.
A number of things will tell you when to seek help, for example, do you have thoughts about harming yourself and or other people after smoking weed? Do you smoke marijuana or use other drugs to cope? Does marijuana use interfere with your home, work, study, and relationships? Do you experience hallucinations or delusions?
If the answer is yes, you should seek help. There is no shame in it, get your head straight and set priorities.
Marijuana Related Disorders
Cannabis is a very safe drug, but if you abuse or misuse it, the result may be:
- Cannabis dependence: some marijuana users use weed compulsively meaning they can’t function without it. This can lead to addiction in some cases.
- Cannabis abuse: abusing cannabis may lead to problems at work, school and or Legal problems.
If you don’t have a medical reason to take marijuana, you should not take it every day, why?
According to NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse), people who smoke or ingest cannabis daily experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, aggression and stomach pain when they discontinue use. Also, long-term use leads to changes in the brain, question, is that a good thing or bad thing?
We still don’t know, some say cannabis affects your brain in a positive way and others say that it affects it in the opposite way, so to be safe limit your consumption.
Signs of Marijuana Abuse
Smoking weed is supposed to make you feel good but some people experience the following negative effects while under the influence of weed or afterward. If you are one of them, you should reduce or discontinue consumption and seek help depending on the severity:
- Physical dependence
- Intense cravings
- Withdrawal symptoms
- You have lost interest in everything
- You spend lots of time thinking about weed.
- Isolating behavior
- Unhealthy relationships with people who support your bad habit
- Increasingly risky behavior
- You can’t stop yourself from using the dug
- Neglect responsibilities
- You borrow or steal money to buy drugs
- You have bloodshot eyes, you smell bad and you don’t take care of yourself
Tips For Staying Well
Mental disorders and drug problems don’t just happen, there are some warning signs. If you smoke marijuana or use any other drugs, there are indicators that warn you of a potential future problem. It is up to you to keep yourself safe.
Early warning signs of drug-induced psychosis are:
- Insomnia (not sleeping well)
- Hearing or seeing things
- Stress and fear
- Strange feelings
- Mood swings
If you identify these signs either reduce intake, stop using, or seek help depending on the severity. In my opinion, most of these problems happen because people use marijuana and other drugs as an escape from reality.
Don’t fall into that trap, instead, Identify the reason why use your drug of choice. If it’s not for enjoyment or medical use, you should quit using the drug.
Take Care of Yourself
“I suck, and people hate me, so I’ll just sit here and smoke this weed until someone presses the big red button”. Been there right? Feeling sorry for yourself will keep the misery train rolling and if you are not careful, it might keep rolling until you are six under.
It is next to impossible to take care of yourself if you hate yourself.
If you hate yourself you might develop stress, anxiety, schizophrenia and other problems that you will end up blaming on weed.
Exercise is an outlet for your mind and body, not only does exercise make you feel good, but it also keeps you healthy.
My point is, get off your misery train and take care of yourself, eat healthy, smoke or ingest reasonable amounts of marijuana and most importantly make peace with yourself.
How to Manage Marijuana Cravings
I know life sucks when you are sober. Problem is if you are never sober getting things done can become a problem. For example, you may find it difficult to study, work or to deal with people.
While sober, your mind will tell you to smoke that joint, eat that cookie just to feel good. That’s what’s called “escaping from your problems”.
The good news is, cravings are time-limited, that is to say, that if you stay strong for a few minutes or hours you will get over them. What usually happens is your cravings peak after a few minutes and then they die down.
Here are some things you can do to kill your marijuana cravings during your ‘drug-free days’:
- Relax and take deep breaths
- Talk to someone
- Think positive
- Challenge your negative thoughts