One of the most common arguments against legalizing cannabis is that Marijuana is a powerful psychosis-inducing drug. There is well established evidence that long-term use increases the risk of acute psychosis, particularly for people with genetic risk factors. There is further evidence that this risk increases when you smoke more potent marijuana more often. However, there is more going on with these studies than the attention-grabbing headlines and the truth is a little more nuanced. With the trend in public opinion pushing towards legalization, the questions concerning these long-term risks need to be addressed.
There are two important chemicals in cannabis that we need to discuss. First, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the drug that most people associate with cannabis because it is the chemical that gets you high. It is the drug that determines the potency of the drug in the eyes of the consumer and it has been shown to cause the acute psychosis mentioned above. The second chemical is Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a significant portion of cannabis plant mass and has no intoxicating effect. When it was discovered in 1940, researchers initially thought it had no pharmacological activity at all. [Read more at Forbes]