Smoking skunk cannabis triples risk of serious psychotic episode, says research

Smoking powerful skunk cannabis triples the risk of suffering a serious psychotic episode, scientists have found.

In the population studied by the researchers in South London, where cannabis use is widespread, the drug is linked to one quarter of all new cases of psychosis, the team found.

The findings add to a compelling body of evidence that smoking strong cannabis “tilts the odds” towards a person developing psychosis, which leads to schizophrenia in about half of cases.

The study found that those who smoked skunk every day had five times the normal risk of experiencing extended episodes in which they heard voices, suffered delusions or demonstrated erratic behaviour.

Sir Robin Murray, professor of psychiatric research at King’s College London, said there was now clear evidence for a causal link between smoking strong cannabis and the risk of mental illness. “The argument initially was that the people who are going to smoke cannabis are a bit odd anyway,” he said. “In south London, two-thirds of people have used cannabis and it seems unlikely that two-thirds of people are abnormal.”


yeah no shite!! You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to know that! Ask any emergency ward!

A friend in the struggle,


When I went away to college in my early twenties my friends and I smoked really strong pot almost daily. I was only at that school for one and a half semesters. I didn’t develop sz for another 3 or 4 years. I’ve smoked a lot of pot in my life but I don’t think that was the cause of my sz. I had psychotic symptoms well before I ever smoked in my early teens. I smoke every once in a while now and it doesn’t affect my psychosis. I haven’t smoked the strong stuff though since I went to that college. :sun_with_face:

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Yeah the Moral of the story is that drugs are just not very helpful and if you have a severe mental illness, drugs can be very harmful.
I tried weed as a college kid, and honestly it really did not do that much damage to me - but I was not an avid pot smoker.
It just made me crack up with laughter and I remember being very happy - the following day is when I got hit with some disorientation and paranoia.
I think that there are much more dangerous drugs out there than pot - staying away from hallucinogens is a must - Mescaline triggered my first psychotic break.
Some people can handle weed some cannot - I think that staying away from all illicit drugs is always a good thing to do

In my country it is unusual not to smoke pot. It’s practically legal. I used to smoke on a daily basis; but now only in the weekends. I have the feeling that it doesn’t effect my schizophrenia.

Good for you. Many people on here including myself have suffered while smoking weed, and experience a let-up in symptoms once they put the weed down.

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@alien99 When I have a psychotic episode my psychosis gets deeper while smoking weed.
But I consider psychosis as positive in a way.

How is it a positive?


I sometimes feel euphoric in a psychosis; but on the other hand it can be a suffering too.

We have a lot of people on this board who are struggling with sobriety. I’d have to ask you to stop promoting weed and whatever “benefits” you see from it forthwith. In my own experience (and many others’ here too), marijuana is best avoided. We don’t need someone who has been a member for 9 hours to tip over the apple cart.


I think lsd triggered my psychosis
I smoked low ish strength normally but definitely some skunk daily for 18 months at some point as well
Quit after ages trying after it caused psychosis EVEY time I smoked it for several months

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Jacob and Alien,

I think you both have some points - and I don’t think there is any need to argue about it or get too argumentative about it (please no name calling on this site).

I don’t see the quote above as a ringing endorsement of marijuana - it presents both the negative and the positive.

Other people here have said they use it sometimes - which the science seems pretty solidly against because it makes things worse, but I’ve also known that many people enjoy it occasionally with no harm.

Jacob - many of us here are pretty against it - not because we think that MOST of the general public suffer from it - but rather because it really makes things bad for many people here in our forums, and for many other people it seems like it might have contributed to the onset and severity of the disorder. You can read some of the science here:

Anyway - Jacob, sorry if people are a little jumpy about this issue. We’re just a little concerned that positive statements about marijuana could be misinterpreted by some people which could harm them.

THis site is very interested in helping people recover and do well in life - so just keep that in mind. I know from personal experience in Holland that marijuana is common and used openly. Even in Colorado now - so its happening here too. But for some people who are vulnerable - it can be a bad thing.

Perhaps best to avoid this topic just because people can be sensitive to this issue.

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cannibis triggered psychosis in me

Marta Di Forti and colleagues’ retrospective case–control study1 distinguished between self-reported use of high-potency (skunk) versus lower potency (hash) cannabis. Scaremongering headlines in the media predictably followed. The Daily Mail screamed “Scientists show cannabis TRIPLES psychosis risk: Groundbreaking research blames ‘skunk’ for 1 in 4 of all new serious mental disorders.” Undoubtedly, politicians and policy makers who have already made up their minds about regulation of cannabis will seize on the study as support for their views.

The authors must share some of the blame for misinterpretations of their results.

authors’ reply

I think it’s silly to put a number on it. if I were off my meds and smoked some DANK weed. Faced a blunt of some sativa Strawberry Haze to the head, I would 100% go psychotic. Not 3x the risk. Infinite times the risk.

Maybe some other SZ hasn’t reached the point I am right now and can still tolerate cannabis.

I reckon that it will deteriate your mental health slowly as time goes on so you will be in the same position I am if you continue to smoke weed.

Thats why it’s silly to say "3x the risk’…it’s not tangible. It’s bad. Don’t smoke weed if you have SZ.

Although there was a point I wasn’t ready to give up weed even though I knew i had a psychotic illness, but now I’ve reached that point and have had to face a lot of pain due to my drug use that I can definitely say I regret.

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Skunk is oldschool I have a plant called white diesel haze automatic it smells delicious.

you are so full of it Skunk is not oldskool,
nor is it good

it just causes schizophrenia