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Psychopathology. 2006;39(4):175-8. Epub 2006 Apr 12.

Cannabis-induced psychosis-like experiences are associated with high schizotypy.

Author information

  • 1Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. emma.j.barkus@manchester.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Recent studies have suggested that cannabis use is a risk factor for developing schizophrenia. We tested the hypothesis that cannabis use increases the likelihood of psychosis-like experiences in non-clinical participants who scored highly on a measure of schizotypy.

METHOD:

The psychological effects of cannabis were assessed in 137 healthy individuals (76% female, mean age 22 years) using a newly developed questionnaire concerned with subjective experiences of the drug: the Cannabis Experiences Questionnaire. The questionnaire has three subscales: Pleasurable Experiences, Psychosis-Like Experiences and After-Effects. Respondents also completed the brief Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Cannabis use was reported by 72% of the sample. Use per se was not significantly related to schizotypy. However, high scoring schizotypes were more likely to report both psychosis-like experiences and unpleasant after-effects associated with cannabis use. The pleasurable effects of cannabis use were not related to schizotypy score.

CONCLUSION:

High scoring schizotypes who use cannabis are more likely to experience psychosis-like phenomena at the time of use, and unpleasant after-effects. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that cannabis use is a risk factor for full psychosis in this group.

Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
16636640
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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