There's been a lot of interest from the scientific community in the not-so-simple relationship between marijuana use and a person's risk of psychosis. The connection is especially important to understand in young people, whose brains are still wiring themselves, a process that continues right up through one's 20s. Some researchers have framed the issue as a chicken-or-egg conundrum, wondering whether pot smoking leads to psychosis or whether underlying psychosis makes one more likely to smoke pot. A new study set out to determine whether it's one or the other – or both. And indeed the answer is that it seems to work both ways.
As the authors point out, some earlier research has suggested that people with underlying psychosis may be "self-medicating" by smoking pot in an effort to diminish symptoms or improve mood. But in fact more research suggests that marijuana use may tweak the brain – especially the developing brain – in significant and detrimental ways, which could ultimately lead to psychosis.