Cannabis and Psychosis Relapse

Oct 1, 2016
Is There an Association Between Continued Use of Cannabis, Psychosis Relapse?

A new article published online by JAMA Psychiatry examines the association between continuing to use cannabis after an episode of psychosis and the risk of relapse for psychosis.

Understanding the association between cannabis and psychotic disorders is important to create evidence-based health policies regarding cannabis.

The study by Sagnik Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., of King’s College London, England, and coauthors included 220 people who had presented for psychiatric services in South London from 2002 to 2013 with first-episode psychosis. The patients were an average age of almost 29.

The analysis suggests continuing to use cannabis after the onset of psychosis was associated with increased risk of relapse of psychosis, which can result in psychiatric hospitalization, according to the article.

Study limitations include assessment of cannabis use based on self-report.

“Because cannabis use is a potentially modifiable risk factor that has an adverse influence on the risk of relapse of psychosis and hospitalization in a given individual, with limited efficacy of existing interventions, these results underscore the importance of developing novel intervention strategies and demand urgent attention from clinicians and health care policymakers,” the study concludes.

(JAMA Psychiatry. Published online September 28, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2427.