A new research has revealed that people diagnosed with schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis and that cannabis may also increase the risk of developing symptoms.
Cannabis users comprise mostly of people dealing with psychosis in comparison to the general population, the study revealed. Its use has been linked to symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoia and delusional thinking, in up to 40 percent of users.
Scientists had warned earlier this year that cannabis could put users at the risk of psychotic disorders. The findings were not found to be sufficient due to which the researchers chose to conduct further studies. A team of researchers from the School of Experimental Psychology at Bristol University -- led by Dr Suzi Gage -- then tried to dig out further evidence.
Genetic factors were probed to find if a person used cannabis and his chances of developing psychological disorder schizophrenia.
The Mendelian Randomization technique was used by the researchers to assess the data. This technique refers to using measured variation in genes.
The researchers opted for this technique as they guessed people using cannabis would differ biologically and genetically in comparison to those who don't use it.
The researchers were also trying to find out if the extent of cannabis use can be explained with the help of genetic link as schizophrenics have been observed to be heavy cannabis users.
"Certain behaviours or symptoms associated with schizophrenia risk might be relieved by the effects of cannabis. In other words, cannabis use may be a kind of self-medication in this population," said Professor Marcus Munafo, a member of the team, MNT reported.
"An alternative explanation is that people with higher risk of schizophrenia may enjoy the psychological effects of cannabis more," he added.
Prof Munafo explained that the present research points towards the two constituents present in cannabis -- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).