Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches

Episode 11 - Marijuana and Schizophrenia - Friends or Foes?

March 31, 2021 Randye Kaye Season 1 Episode 11
Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches
Episode 11 - Marijuana and Schizophrenia - Friends or Foes?
Show Notes

 Marijuana - it’s being legalized for medical and recreational use more and more, on a state-by-state basis. But for people diagnosed with schizophrenia, there are concerns. 

  • Does it “cause” or trigger schizophrenia ? Or is it’s use just a result/symptom of the illness as it helps some with the brain confusion?

Well, the jury is still out on that question...but, we have a spirited discussion and more with  our Guest: Dr. George Realmuto, Child Psychiatrist (University of Minnesota, emeritus).

We also ask:

  • Some who use after diagnosis say it helps with symptoms, and they need fewer meds. Others say it makes things worse. Any studies?
  • .legalization.... good or bad? For potential addicts, for those of us with SZ in our families? Decriminalization issues. Should prevention be included in bills?

1. From a scientific perspective, what happens to the developing brain when marijuana is used? 

 2. If a young person did not have the genetics that could later cause schizophrenia, could marijuana use still cause psychosis and later schizophrenia? 

3 How are the stronger new strains of pot different from the old stuff? 

4. What is the chemistry of THC that is so bad for people with schizophrenia.

 5. For those who use marijuana and then develop schizophrenia, is their schizophrenia worse than if they had not used marijuana? Examples? 

6. Since you are a child psychiatrist, what things can families and schools do to prevent young people from using drugs and later developing mental illness? What are early indicators that such prevention is needed? 

7. Once a person is using drugs and has schizophrenia, what can best help them? Is there any progress in MICD (Mental Illness with Chemical Dependency)  treatments? 

8. What do you have to say about parents who are told they are "enabling?" 

9. Does the media (movies, TV, etc) glamourize marijuana use and what should we teach our kids?

 10. Where have we made the most progress so we can have some hope for the future?