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Study: 'Skunk Marijuana' Associated With Higher Risk Of Developing Psychotic Disorder

LONDON, UK (CBS) – A new study is shedding more light on the potentially harmful effects of smoking marijuana.

The research, out of King's College in London, reveals that nearly a quarter of new cases of psychotic disorders are linked with the use of "high potency 'skunk-like' cannabis."

In fact, scientists say the risk of psychosis is three times higher for skunk marijuana users, and for those who use skunk cannabis every day, that risk jumps to five times higher.

The research studied almost 800 people between 18- and 65-years-old in London and included a control group of healthy individuals as well as more than 400 more who suffered from at least one episode of psychosis.

The main finding, researchers say, is that "frequency of use and cannabis potency…are essential factors in the mental health effects on users."

"This paper suggests that we could prevent almost one quarter of cases of psychosis if no-one smoked high potency cannabis. This could save young patients a lot of suffering and the NHS a lot of money," says Sir Robin Murray, a senior researcher on the study, on the college's website.

The scientists also note that the use of hash was not associated with an increased risk of psychosis.

The paper is published in Lancet Psychiatry.

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