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Cannabis and Schizophrenia: A causal (not coincidental) association

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The evidence linking cannabis use to schizophrenia is compelling. No one who is truly open-minded and rational can dismiss the possibility that cannabis exposure causes schizophrenia (or a schizophrenia-identical persisting psychotic disorder).

Cannabis use affects brain maturation and affects the signaling of both dopamine and glutamate – two neurotransmitters with known relevance to schizophrenia. There is clear evidence of a dose-response relationship. Higher cumulative exposure to cannabis in early life translates into higher risk of schizophrenia in later life. Mendelian randomization, a genetic analysis strategy that eliminates the influence of confounding variables, suggests that the relationship between cannabis use and schizophrenia is causative – not coincidental.

This lecture is part of Northeast Ohio University’s education(+)consultation service, SZconsult. A powerpoint file for this lecture is available at http://szconsult.org/

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