The study team, lead by Prof. Daniel Freeman, lately presented their results in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a drug that is generated from the Cannabis indica or plants Cannabis sativa . The primary active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is accountable for the greater part of the drug’s psychological outcomes, like as hallucinations and delusions.
Previous research has showed that marijuana use can leads to paranoia – which Prof. Freeman explains as “extreme thinking that other individuals are attempting to harm us.”
“It’s extremely common due to the fact in our daily lives we have to think about whether to trust or mistrust, and when we get it incorrect – that’s paranoia,” he describes.” Many individuals have a few paranoid feelings, and a few individuals have many paranoid thoughts.”
For the research, Prof. Freeman and co-workers examined the results of THC on 121 individuals ages 21-50 to be able to see if the drug activates paranoid thoughts and how it does this. All individuals had used cannabis minimum once earlier and had no record of mental health conditions.
Around 65% of individuals were treated with THC at a dose equal to a strong joint, while a 35% of individuals were treated with a placebo. The scientists note that they select to inject the members with the compound as it ensured they all had identical levels of THC in their bloodstream. The scientists report that the outcomes of THC on individuals lasted for 90 minutes.
THC leads to ‘negative emotions and changes in perception that cause paranoia’
Outcomes of the research exposed that among individuals who were treated with THC, about 50% noted paranoid feelings, in comparison with 30% of individuals who obtained the placebo. The scientists observe that as the drug left the bloodstream, thoughts of paranoia decreased.
The group identified that THC also stimulated anxiety, fear, decreased mood, negative thoughts about one self, modifications in perception – such as the report of louder sounds and clouds being brighter – and modified their understanding of time. Using a statistical evaluation, the scientists identified that it may be these negative thoughts and modifications in perception that lead to paranoid thoughts among marijuana consumers.
The team says their results not only “very convincingly” demonstrate that cannabis can lead to short-term paranoia in some people, but they may also describe how our mind motivates paranoid thoughts.
“Paranoia is probably to happen when we are nervous, think negatively about our self, and experience disturbing changes in our thoughts,” states Prof. Freeman, including:
“The research recognizes a number of extremely possible ways in which our mind stimulates paranoid fears. Worry skews our view of the world and makes us concentrate on identified threat. Thinking we are inferior indicates we feel susceptible to harm. Just small variations in our understanding can make us feel that some thing unusual and even frightening is going on.”
He notes that even though the research – financed by the UK’s Medical Research Council – offers more details about the instant effects Cannabis can have, it does not look at the consequences of cannabis addiction and for that reason “does not necessarily hold effects for monitoring, the criminal justice system or regulation.”
“The implication is that decreasing time spent ruminating, being more positive in ourselves, and not catastrophizing when uncommon perceptual disruptions take place will in all likelihood reduce paranoia,” adds Prof. Freeman.