Marijuana use can lead to psychosis and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia in some people While a link between schizophrenia and cannabis has been found, it seems to primarily apply to those with a genetic disposition for schizophrenia or who are adolescents (because of the still-developing brain).

Research has shown connections between marijuana, the brain, and schizophrenia:

  • Cannabis interferes with executive functioning, which includes such skills as memory, emotional regulation, planning, problem-solving, inhibition, organization, starting tasks, and processing information.
  • It interacts with the dopamine system in the brain, impacting the experiencing of psychosis.
  • Smoking marijuana daily has been shown to increase a vulnerable user’s risk of developing schizophrenia by almost five times, and it can cause people to develop schizophrenia six years earlier than others who don’t use the substance.
  • Using marijuana can worsen schizophrenia in those who already have the illness.