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Those at risk of developing schizophrenia more likely to try cannabis, new research reveals

People who have a greater risk of developing schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis, according to new research.
Cannabis smoking linked to Schizophrenia

People who have a greater risk of developing schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis, according to new research.

Researchers also found a causal link between trying the drug and an increased risk of the condition.

The University of Bristol study follows public health warnings issued earlier this year by scientists who voiced concerns about the increased risk of psychosis for vulnerable people who use the drug.

While some evidence was found to support hypotheses cannabis use is a contributory factor in increasing the risk of schizophrenia, the researchers were surprised to find stronger evidence the opposite was also likely.

Evidence pool

Research associate Suzi Gage said: 'The evidence

People who have a greater risk of developing schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis, according to new research.

Researchers also found a causal link between trying the drug and an increased risk of the condition.

Cannabis smoking linked to schizophrenia
Researchers have found a link between Cannabis smoking and increased risk of Schizophrenia
Picture: iStock

The University of Bristol study follows public health warnings issued earlier this year by scientists who voiced concerns about the increased risk of psychosis for vulnerable people who use the drug. 

While some evidence was found to support hypotheses cannabis use is a contributory factor in increasing the risk of schizophrenia, the researchers were surprised to find stronger evidence the opposite was also likely.

Evidence pool

Research associate Suzi Gage said: 'The evidence suggested that schizophrenia risk predicts the likelihood of trying cannabis – however, the relationship could operate in both directions.

'Our results don’t allow us to accurately predict the size of the effect – they’re more focused on providing evidence the relationship is actually causal, rather than the result of confounding or common risk factors.’

The study used so-called Mendelian Randomization techniques to examine publicly available data from genome-wide association studies. 


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