Is smoking weed a cause for schizophrenia?

Q. Can weed smoking cause schizophrenia?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 30, 2016 and last reviewed on: Aug 01, 2023

Hi doctor,

I have been dealing with anxiety since childhood. I am 22 years old now. I have been smoking weed for about six months and my quality of life drastically improved. Now, I could sleep at night. I went back to being myself happy. My confidence went up and my social anxiety virtually disappeared. Once, while watching videos on the internet, I came across one talking about reality and how we might be part of some sort of virtual reality. When I started thinking about that, it really freaked me out and I had a panic attack. Then, the mixture of the anxiety and being high made me really entertain the idea of this reality was fake. I was in a constant state of being on the brink of a panic attack for a few days afterwards, even while being completely sober. I am better now, through the day I am fine even thinking back on it makes me kind of laugh. But, when I am alone at night the thought comes back and no matter how hard I try, I cannot take my mind off it. I could not sleep because of the anxiety related symptoms, putting on a podcast and listening to people talk is the only way to calm me down. I hate this and I cannot stop thinking about how I may become this crazy person who truly believes were in some sort of matrix and end up in some asylum rocking back and forth. Should I be worried about this? Am I going crazy? I do not want to develop schizophrenia and lose touch with reality. I have not smoked since the incident and I have gotten better. But, I am worried that I will never be able to shake off these thoughts, although I know these thoughts are completely ludacris and I am truly fine. Will time resolve this?



Welcome to

I read your query and understand your concerns. Before I answer your question I like to congratulate you for taking the necessary step of stopping cannabis. First of all I like to inform you that your current symptoms are related to the same spectrum of disorder or anxiety disorder for which you were suffering from childhood. I also like to make it clear that cannabis can cause any kind of psychiatric disorder, but it does not mean everyone using cannabis develops schizophrenia. At this moment I will suggest two things. Firstly, see a psychiatrist for complete assessment as I feel there is evidence of obsessive compulsive disorder along with an anxiety disorder. Secondly, follow his treatment recommendations till there is a complete improvement in your symptoms. Thank you.

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