This Week in the ASAM Weekly
Studies have shown a strong relationship between cannabis use and psychosis, some going as far as supporting a causal relationship. However, a remarkably large study examining national insurance databases for psychosis-related
claims compared all states based on medical, recreational, and retail cannabis policies and found that, in general, the policies were not associated with increased psychosis-related outcomes (JAMA Network). Such studies do lead to further questions, but as Dr. Torrey explicitly points out, our ability to find answers is hindered
by the missing data on rates of schizophrenia in America (Psychiatric Times).
Similarly, a twin study demonstrated that recreational cannabis policies compared across two states lead to increased cannabis use but not a wide range of other psychosocial problems, including further substance use disorders
(Psychological Medicine). This is relevant for the gateway-drug
hypothesis (Neuroscience News) but should not distract
us from the important work of setting up guardrails around cannabis use (Politico).
At times, psychedelics seem to be jumping the guardrails imposed on other therapeutics (Medpage Today), while heading down a path of normalization and spiritualization. From micro-dosing mom groups (Washington Post) to psychedelic churches (Santa Fe New Mexican), we must have ways to help people safely. Future research into “nonpsychedelic psychedelics” may help us find them (NEJM).
Thanks for reading,
Nicholas Athanasiou, MD, MBA, DFASAM
Editor in Chief
with Co-Editors: Brandon Aden, MD, Debra R. Newman, PA-C, MSPAS, MPH, Jack Woodside, MD, John A. Fromson,