Youth Psychosis is linked to potency

Neuroscience News

It is the first longitudinal study to correlate early cannabis use with specific potency levels to later psychotic experiences.
Key Facts: Participants who used high-potency cannabis reported a doubled rate of psychotic experiences compared to those using less potent forms.
This new study is the first longitudinal examination of early adolescent psychosis measures and detailed cannabis potency.
By age 24, they disclosed their primary cannabis type and any experiences of psychotic experiences such as hallucinations or delusions.
• Those using higher-potency cannabis were more than twice as likely to report new psychotic experiences after starting to use cannabis, compared to those using lower-potency cannabis.
Dr Hines said: ”Cannabis is changing and higher-potency cannabis is increasingly available.
This study aimed to combine prospective report of cannabis use with retrospective report of potency to infer the potency of cannabis used in adolescence and explore whether use of cannabis, and the use of high-potency cannabis, in adolescence is associated with incident psychotic experiences.
Participants n = 5570 participants who reported on any cannabis use (yes/no) age 16 and 18 years, and n = 1560 participants from this group who also retrospectively reported on cannabis potency.


In brief, young people who consume high-potency cannabis between the ages of 16 and 18 are twice as likely as those who use lower-potency strains to develop psychosis by the time they are mid-twenties.

In order to track thousands of participants from Bristol, this study used data from the Children of the 90s study. It is the first long-term study to link subsequent psychotic episodes to early cannabis use at particular potency levels.

The results highlight the serious risks to mental health that stronger cannabis strains carry, underscoring the urgent need for public health initiatives and legislative changes.

Important Information:.

When comparing individuals who used less potent forms of cannabis to those who used high-potency strains, the former reported half as many psychotic experiences.

According to the study, 10.1% of cannabis users with high potency experienced a significant increase in psychotic symptoms after using the drug, compared to 3.8% of users with lower potency varieties.

This study adds to the growing body of knowledge regarding the potency of cannabis, since THC levels have increased significantly over the past few decades and may exacerbate mental health problems in young users.

The University of Bath is the sources.

When it comes to psychotic episodes between the ages of 19 and 24, young people who use higher-potency cannabis, like skunk, between the ages of 16 and 18 are twice as likely to experience them.

This is supported by a recent study from the University of Bath that was just released in the scholarly journal Addiction.

The primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC, increased in concentration by 14% between 1970 and 2017, according to earlier research from the University of Bath’s Addiction and Mental Health Group. As a result, high-potency cannabis varieties like skunk now dominate the UK cannabis market.

This new study is the first to look at detailed cannabis potency and early adolescent psychosis measures over an extended period of time.

The Children of the Nineties study, the largest research project of its kind, is the source of this data. It started in Bristol more than 30 years ago, compiling data and information from thousands of households throughout the city.

Almost 14,000 people were enrolled in the study from the time of their birth, and many of them are still involved today. Participants were questioned regarding their recent cannabis use at the ages of 16 to 18. When they were twenty-four years old, they revealed their main cannabis strain and any psychotic episodes they had experienced, like delusions or hallucinations.

“Young people using higher-potency forms of cannabis are twice as likely to have experiences associated with psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions,” stated lead author Dr. Lindsey Hines of the University of Bath Department of Psychology.

Crucially, prior to beginning to use cannabis, the young individuals we questioned had not previously discussed these experiences. This strengthens the evidence suggesting higher-potency cannabis use may have detrimental effects on mental health. “.

This work contributes to an extensive body of research that originated from the ALSPAC study, which looks at a variety of subjects, including the relationship between pregnancy-related medication and the health of the fetus and the influence of social media on self-harm.

Principal discoveries of this research:.

• Compared to 3 point 8 percent of non-users, 6 point 4 percent of young people who used cannabis experienced new psychotic episodes.

• Compared to 3 points8 percent of young people using lower-potency cannabis, 10 points1 percent of those using higher-potency cannabis reported having new psychotic experiences after beginning to use it.

Higher-potency cannabis users reported new psychotic experiences more than twice as frequently as lower-potency users did after they first started using the drug.

This study adds to the increasing amount of data showing that using high-potency cannabis is linked to a higher chance of experiencing psychotic episodes, both in frequency and likelihood.

The researchers are now requesting more data regarding the long-term effects of cannabis use, particularly with regard to higher potency strains, as well as research into ways to lessen the amount of potency that is accessible to minors.

Higher-potency cannabis is getting easier to get, according to Dr. Hines. These results highlight how critical it is to comprehend the long-term consequences of youth use of higher potencies. The messaging and materials we provide to youth about the consequences of cannabis use in the twenty-first century need to be improved. “.

Funding: The Wellcome Trust provided funding for the study, which was published in the scholarly journal Addiction.

Regarding this psychosis and the news about THC research.

Written by Chris Melvin.

The University of Bath is the sources.

Chris Melvin at the University of Bath can be reached.

Photo credit: This image is courtesy of Neuroscience News.

Original Study: Disclosed under open license.

“Results from a longitudinal cohort study: Incident psychotic experiences after self-reported use of high-potency cannabis” by Lindsey Hines et al. A dependency.


A longitudinal cohort study’s findings on incident psychotic experiences after high-potency cannabis use as self-reported.

Context and objectives.

High-potency cannabis has been linked to a higher risk of psychosis; however, the relationship’s causality cannot be fully understood due to a lack of prospective data. This research sought to determine the potency of cannabis used in adolescence and investigate the possibility of a link between incident psychotic experiences and cannabis use, particularly high-potency cannabis used during adolescence. It did this by combining prospective reports of cannabis use with retrospective reports of potency.


birth cohort research conducted by population.




n = 5570 participants who reported using cannabis at all (yes or no) between the ages of 16 and 18 and n = 1560 participants who additionally reported cannabis potency retrospectively from this group.


People self-reported their lifetime cannabis use in questionnaires at the ages of 16 and 18, and when they were 24 years old, they disclosed the kind of cannabis they had used most frequently during that time. The semi-structured Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview was used to evaluate psychotic experiences at the age of 24, with an incident being defined as a new-onset event that happened between the ages of 19 and 24.


Odds Ratio 2.15, 95% Confidence Intervals 1.13–4.06) showed that using high-potency cannabis when one was 16 or 18 was linked to a twice-higher chance of having incident psychotic experiences between the ages of 19 and 24. There was less evidence (Odds Ratio 1.45, 95 percent Confidence Intervals 0.94–2.12) that cannabis use had any effect on incident psychotic experiences.


High-potency cannabis use seems to be linked to a higher risk of psychotic episodes.

scroll to top