Young men who regularly smoke marijuana may have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. This is according to a new Danish study.
Schizophrenia cases among men in the ages 21 to 30 could have been prevented by up to 30% without persistent use of marijuana, medically called “cannabis use disorder” (CUD). This is according to findings published by Danish scientists on May 4. The study is based on data from nearly 6 million people in Denmark.
3 out of 10 marijuana users have CUD
“Although CUD is not responsible for most schizophrenia cases in Denmark, it appears to contribute to a non-negligible and steadily increasing proportion over the past five decades,” the researchers concluded.
3 out of 10 marijuana users have CUD, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The focus of the study has been on how the relationship is impacted by age and sex. The study concluded that the link is more significant among men. The researchers note, that this may only be because, men are more likely to have CUD.
One theory on the possible cause is that the percentage of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis has increased in recent decades. THC is the main psychoactive component of cannabis.
Increased THC levels
The new study notes THC levels in cannabis in Denmark has increased from 13% in 2006 to 30% in 2016. Other studies suggest THC levels have increased by more than 200% from 1995 to 2015.
Back in June last year, Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration removed marijuana and hemp from the Category 5 narcotics list. This means that marijuana has been decriminalized in Thailand.
According to Thai law, extracted cannabis must contain less than 0.2% THC, though a study by one of Thailand’s top university’s shows, that 30% of the products sold exceed the government’s THC limit.