Study says smoking skunk triples risk of serious psychosis

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If you’re caning it every day, you’re more likely to suffer from reefer madness

Skunk is getting pretty strong isn’t it? The marijuana arms race shows no sign of letting up, with dealers and growers producing ever stronger strains of weapons-grade weed. While I spent a good portion of my teenhood blazing on the daily, these days I can’t manage more than a few drags of 21st century skunk without doing a whitey. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that new research suggests that skunk is pretty bad for you and your mental health.

study of patients from South London (where the streets stink of the stuff) has found that those who smoke everyday were five times more likely to suffer from voices in their heads and three times as likely to suffer from a highly serious psychotic episode. Those who smoked less potent forms of weed, such as hash, showed no increased risk.

It isn’t weed that’s dangerous – in this regard, at least – just super strong strains of skunk. In fact, one of the study’s authors, Dr Robin Murray, told the Guardian that he recommended hash to patients who were trying to give up skunk.

Over a period of six years, researchers worked with 410 patients between the ages of 18-65 who had checked into South London hospitals demonstrating signs of psychosis and shown symptoms of hearing voices or delusions.

The results showed a correlation between the strength of marijuana that patients used, the regularity with which they smoked and the severity of their mental health issues. Murray said he believed that the study proved a link between smoking strong weed and psychosis, which can lead to schizophrenia.

Weed is currently being legalised across America, with many voices calling for a similar change to the law here in the UK. So what do you think? If skunk is too strong now, should we even contemplate legalising it here?

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