Canadian researchers claim to have uncovered “a possible causative role for cannabis use on violence,” a potentially noteworthy finding that warrants further study.
A new analysis published in the journal of Frontiers in Psychiatry found that psychiatric patients who smoke weed regularly are more than two times more likely to turn violence than those who don’t use the drug.
The potential theory, based on research conducted by five experts from Montreal, Canada, is that ongoing use of weed could lead those with mental illness to commit violence and assaults, The Times reported.
“Violence is a major concern and is prevalent across several mental disorders,” a description of the study reads. “The use of substances has been associated with an exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms as well as with violence.”
The text continues, “Compared to other substances such as alcohol and cocaine, existing literature on the cannabis – violence relationship has been more limited, with most studies being conducted in the general population, and has shown controversial results.”
So, researchers explored the lives and behaviors of 1,136 psychiatric patients who were recently discharged from hospitals located in Missouri, Pittsburgh and Massachusetts.
In the end, they found that there’s a higher chance that those using marijuana after they are discharged will become violent as time goes on. And rather than finding that violent people are drawn to weed, they discovered that the drug “predicted future violent behavior,” as The Daily Mail noted.
“These findings are particularly relevant as they suggest that the longer individuals report having used cannabis after a psychiatric discharge, the more likely they are of being violent in the following time waves,” the results read. “These results add to our understanding of the negative consequences of chronic cannabis use amid psychiatric patients.”
Meanwhile, other reviews have shown that cannabis use among the general public could have an increase on “car accidents, psychotic symptoms and short-term cognitive impairment,” as CNN noted.
And the prestigious American Academy of Pediatrics is out with a new study imploring parents not to allow their kids to use marijuana, warning that consumption in the teen years could have a dire impact on brain development.
The newest data about psychiatric patients comes as U.S. states have been increasingly decriminalizing marijuana and as debate over marijuana legalization forges on.