Research on cannabis use in women limited, finds new study

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A new study from the University of York shows that research into the association of psychosis with cannabis focuses almost completely on men users, significantly limiting our knowledge of the drug’s effects on human health.

In 2016, over 190 million people in the world used cannabis, making it the third most commonly used drug in the world. Cannabis use is linked to certain risks, most notably that of psychosis.

Cannabis psychosis has a tremendous negative impact on both cannabis users and their families. The relationship between cannabis and psychosis has been a bone of contention for a long time among addiction researchers. An accurate understanding of this would help greatly to direct limited health resources towards those at highest risk.

While this association has been known for more than a hundred years, increasing cannabis use in the Western world brought it to the attention of researchers. Andreasson et al. performed a foundational study (in male users) which set the direction for research in this area for decades. They concluded that cannabis independently increased the risk of developing schizophrenia, to 6% of heavy users.

Researchers have not yet been able to determine at what point cannabis-induced psychosis may be diagnosed. Both acute and long-term psychotic reactions occur, which means the statistics vary with place, assessor, and type of

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