Duration of Cannabis-Induced Psychosis: A Comprehensive Overview

Cannibis-induced psychosis is an adverse side-effect of marijuana use that may especially happen to people new to it. Since there are many ways to ingest cannabis, it is also popular. However, unlike different drugs like cocaine, marijuana is not that addictive or harmful. But it still has some adverse effects, and psychosis is one of them.

Hearing voices or having hallucinations is a symptom of psychosis that people with chronic marijuana use may experience. The severity of this condition depends on various factors. It is especially pervasive in newbies. It is a type of schizophrenia.

Cannabis psychosis may come as a shock to you, especially if you thought weed to be risk-free. In truth, marijuana has many risks and adverse effects on health if not taken with caution.

This article will cover one of them, namely psychosis, and explain its causes, frequency, and recovery process.

Definition and Overview of Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

Drug-induced psychosis is not a disease. It is a side effect of overusing marijuana with some hallucinating symptoms. The word came from the Greek psukhōsis, psukhoō, and psukhē, meaning animation, ‘I give life to,’ and mind in accordance.

Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

The symptoms of psychosis involve seeing or hearing things that don’t exist or perceiving reality differently from others. As a result, the person may get confused about what is real or not, take longer to respond to others, and feel paranoid about being watched.

Moreover, they may struggle to think, feel like they can do impossible things, or have super abilities. Because of this, given the person, it may be necessary to call emergency services if the person poses a threat to self or others. Usually, speaking to them calmly helps to soothe them down, but not always.

Duration and Timeline of Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

In most cases, marijuana-induced psychosis lasts for 3 to 4 hours. Some may even experience the symptoms up to 24 hours after its start. In very rare cases, the person may have to go through it for up to a month, which is known as persistent psychosis.

Cannabis-induced psychosis usually has two stages, while some go through three. The timeline is as follows-

  • Acute Psychosis During Intoxication: The acute psychosis episode during the intoxicative period lasts for around two to four hours. It includes hallucinations (seeing or hearing non-existent things) and delusions (believing untrue things).

While many factors can trigger psychosis in someone, studies suggest that cannabis users are more likely to get first-episode psychosis than people who don’t use cannabis.

  • Acute Psychosis After Intoxication: Similarly, acute psychosis after intoxication may also include the common symptoms. It may last 24 hours, and the patient may act silly and laugh or get angry for no reason, feel out of energy, struggle to speak properly or remember things, or become disconnected from the surroundings.

Remember that not everyone will face it; most only have the initial 3-4 hours of symptoms.

  • Long-Term Persistent Psychosis: Some may go through long-term persistent psychosis for a month or several months. Before you start to worry, we should tell you that the causes behind this may not be just marijuana use, and there may be many other reasons involved.

The symptoms may involve paranoia and distrust, strange ideas, poor performance in jobs or studies, spending alone time, unclear or confusing speech, cold behavior, or lack of hygiene. In some cases, the person may become violent.

Someone going through long-term psychosis needs medical attention. If the person gets violent and is a threat to anyone, it is ideal to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Factors Influencing the Length of Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

The length of one’s cannabis-induced psychosis depends on several factors. Just because you are consuming too much weed doesn’t necessarily mean that you will experience psychosis. The symptoms may appear more likely in some people than others. The factors at play here are as follows-

Length of Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

Frequency and Duration of Cannabis Use

Studies suggest that around 51% of people with newly developed psychotic disorders have some substance disorder. Meanwhile, 40% of the increased risk of psychosis is linked with cannabis use. Our bodies have a tolerance limit to marijuana and such substances. Once that limit is breached, symptoms like psychosis begin to appear.

People who take cannabis daily have two to three times increased risk of psychosis than those who don’t take weed, researchers say. As a result, it is necessary not to take marijuana too much than your body can handle.

Dosage and potency of the marijuana consumed

As we mentioned in the last section, there is a tolerance level for marijuana in our bodies. However, immunity varies from person to person. People experienced with weed can take higher dosages or potent ones without dealing with any adverse side effects.

Meanwhile, those who are new to marijuana or have a weak tolerance, in general, may have to go through psychosis way easily. That’s why you must dose your tinctures or edibles appropriately based on your body’s resistance to them.

Individual Susceptibility and Genetic Predisposition

Research suggests that genetic predisposition to psychotic disorder is possible in people. If someone had a close ancestor with schizophrenia or psychosis, they may be more susceptible to it. According to studies, the risk here will be around 2.5 to 10 more for those with a family history of such condition than those without.

As a result, experts suggest people with a genetic predisposition to psychosis avoid weed to prevent such symptoms from becoming persistent.

Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions

While co-occurring mental health conditions don’t cause substance abuse disorders such as psychosis, there have been some connections. According to experts, over 50% of people within 18 to 25 years with the latter have one or more of the former.

As a result, it is ideal to treat your psychiatric conditions quickly and avoid any form of substance consumption while having depression, anxiety, stress, or such.

Treatment Interventions and Adherence

Another significant factor that controls the psychosis level is the person’s willingness to get the necessary treatment they need. Treatment interventions are a common thing in many with psychosis. As a result, while the symptoms should have been gone earlier, they persist for way longer.

Meanwhile, treatment adherence means following the prescription by the person. It is essential to get rid of persistent or re-occurring substance abuse disorders.

Age at First Use

People who are susceptible to psychosis may get it three times earlier if they use cannabis than if they don’t, according to studies. Another study says that if someone uses marijuana at the age of 16 or under, their risk of schizophrenia or psychosis symptoms is higher.

Certain Medications

Some medications may also be the culprit behind one’s psychosis. While it is not guaranteed, the following medications may cause psychosis in someone-

Certain Medications
  • Perkinson’s disease medications
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Opioids or other pain relievers
  • Antihistamines
  • ACE inhibitors or other heart medicines

Long-Term Effects and Recovery

Psychosis can last as long as six months, depending on the factors we mentioned just now. The effects may include the following-

Effects and Recovery
  • The person may have a drop in their grades or bad performance in their job or other work.
  • The person with psychosis may want to isolate themselves more.
  • It may seem like the person lacks emotions.
  • One can start to be suspicious towards everyone around them, including their family or friends.
  • The person will start to have ideas that can be odd, risky, or straight-up impossible.
  • The person may often talk without making any sense.

If you are experiencing substance-induced schizophrenia or psychosis, it is best to seek treatment immediately. You may go to a psychologist or psychiatrist and explain your symptoms to them so that they can diagnose your issue and devise a plan to treat it. Some common treatments for psychosis are-

  • Antipsychotic drugs. Your psychiatrist will most likely prescribe these to you with such symptoms.
  • Antidepressants or lithium. They can also help in helping with one’s medical conditions and soothe themselves while in acute psychosis.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another standard treatment procedure with people with psychosis.
  • Your medical provider may also tell you to avoid marijuana consumption while going through a psychosis treatment plan.

Note that you mustn’t take any medication while under psychosis without the guidance or prescription of a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Conclusion

It is unfortunate to have psychosis getting in your way of consuming marijuana. However, due to their harmful nature to your mental condition and others around you, it is best to get treatment for the psychosis symptoms quickly.

Since long-term persistent psychosis can happen due to many other reasons outside just chronic marijuana use, you should keep those factors in mind while doing your edibles or tinctures.

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Nazmul Nahid

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