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Teens Who Smoke Pot Doubles the Risk for Schizophrenia due to increase of THC

Symptoms begin to appear between age 14 and 25. Don't self medicate, seek help
Photo Credit: Flickr Photo/ Meredith_Farmer

Marijuana is the most-used recreational drug in the world, and it is a substance that is generally viewed as; much less harmful than drugs like cocaine or heroin. But a new documentary reveals that heavy marijuana use at an early age could be damaging to young minds and even cause schizophrenia.

The Downside of High examines startling new research that teens who start smoking pot before the age of sixteen are four times more likely to become schizophrenic. In addition to the danger faced by young teens, the doc reveals that for all young adults, smoking pot doubles the risk of developing psychosis, paranoia and hallucinations, the hallmarks of schizophrenia. "Ever since it was introduced in the 60s, people have felt that it is a relatively harmless drug,"

The documentary profiles three Canadian young people who experienced psychotic episodes and were diagnosed with mental illness (two with schizophrenia, one with bipolar disorder). All suffered debilitating symptoms of hallucinations and anxiety and spent months in psychiatric wards. In all three cases, doctors believe their mental illness was triggered by their heavy pot use. All three had been genetically pre-disposition from one or more relatives.

The percentage of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in pot has been going up steadily in the last 30 years, as growers attempt to breed marijuana with a stronger high. And one of the by-products of developing such high levels of THC has a dangerous consequence: While the THC goes up, the level of cannibidiol, an ingredient which appears to buffer the effects of THC, goes down.

Scientists feel that marijuana interferes with the brain's ability to neuro-prune and can produce devastating, long-term results. And the stronger the pot, the more damage to the developing brain. Schizophrenia is a young person's disease; it tends to show up between the ages of 14 and 25." As the teen continues to smoke this newer pot the disease progresses, the behavior in the teen becomes more and more bizarre and erratic as it moves into the mental illness. Vivious CIRCLE!!! Don't self medicate, please seek treatment. Peace.

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