Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Schizophrenia and Pot

Our 22 year old son just had his second psychotic break. The first time he had marijuana on board and the second a year later he did not but was stressed from college. He was hospitalized both times. He is telling us that the antipsychotic meds and anti anxiety meds are not enough (Zyprexa and Clonepin) and that pot is the only thing that calms him down. Is there anyone out there who’s doctor or therapist will work with them if they are on antipsychotics and still smoking pot? Does anyone know if Cannabanoids help with anxiety?

It might help if he sought therapy if he has not yet.

Cannabinoid certainly do help with anxiety.

Smoking helps me calm down.
It can go either way from experience.
Some people stress more.
Some people mellow out.

Pot has ruined my life. I lost all my friends, my girlfriend, was expelled out of school, couldn’t hold a job, and was idle for most of my life. In the 13 years I smoked I only quit twice, but the first time I stopped for two years and was already diagnosed but I went off-meds. Even though life was good I was hospitalized again and after that so desolate I took up toking again. That lasted 5 years…

I’ve been marijuana free for a year now and I’m noticing small improvements but still have to live with the aftermath of living the drug lifestyle.

If your son smokes pot, he will meet people who will be a negative influence to him, he will never get better, symptoms will act up, and probably won’t be able to lead a productive existence. Take it from me.

In moderation it might be alright but when it takes over your life the effects can be disastrous, at least they were for me.

My parents always stressed me out into quitting and I never saw the benefit until now. I was just knee-deep into consuming and it just got out of hand. That’s my personal experience with it, might be different for others.

There have been some scientific studies on this, which mostly came out negative. The smoking gives some temporary relief but then negative aspects such as paranoia start to flare up and cause more damage.

In small doses though I have seen it being helpful not particularly for sz but for depression.

Marijuana seems to be a bad thing for most people with schizophrenia. Even a lot of people with schizophrenia who smoke it and says it helps them will admit that it aggravates their symptoms and causes them paranoia and other problems. Yet they still smoke it. And I understand.

Before I got clean in 1990 I occasionally smoked pot. And it made me psychotic and paranoid, yet I smoked it time after time. And it made me miserable. I guess I liked smoking it because it was a 10% good experience. But it was also. 90% bad experience. In other words it still felt a little good.

I think a lot of us smoked it because we were trying to recapture the great feeling it gave us before we got sick. Because when I was a teen I smoked it daily and it was always fun. But after I got diagnosed at age 19 it was NEVER fun again. Besides the fact that it’s illegal in most places.

Pot can affect different people differently. Personally, I never enjoyed the high, but some people just love it. I would say that your son probably needs to take it easy on the weed.

doesn’t pot already cause paranoia?

My son smokes, before and after his diagnosis. He tells me that sometimes it makes it worse, and at others it makes it better for him. He told me a few weeks ago that when it makes it worse he is using something stronger. It’s good to know that, but now another thing to try to help him with…at least he told me.

My son is nineteen. We are in Colorado and he was able to get a red card at the age of eighteen and gain access to very high concentrations of THC through the dispensaries. Studies have shown that high concentrations of THC can trigger an episode if not onset of the illness itself. I’m pretty sure it’s what triggered my son’s. Zypreza was not favorable for my son. We try to stick with Invega and I am working on trying to get him to take the shot. Is your son compliant with his meds? Pot is self medicating and in our case, worsen symptoms. Many people try to claim that pot has been proven to make symptoms better but the only studies I’ve read are of ones showing the positive effects of CBD which comes from the plant, but wothout THC. THC can induce psychosis so if you can get him to exercise, go on long walks, anything to tire him out would be better, in my opinion. Keep us updated. You’re not alone.

Wow, this is the first time I have been on this forum. It is so helpful to talk to people who have been through this. We are so new to this. Our son was hospitalized for 6 days with a psychotic break and suicide attempt while he was at school. We are doing family therapy, he is seeing a psychiatrist and has an individual therapist. He is agreeing to the meds (Zyprexa and Prozac and I think Clonazapine. ) He was on Xanax in the hospital and for the first two weeks at home and now has switched to Clonazapine. However he feels anxious still. I agree that exercise would be helpful to de-stress if we can get him to do it. He was going to film school at the time of his break, and he fears that he will lose his creativity and inspiration if he can’t do pot and does the pysch meds. Is there anyone out there who is involved in creative activities who feel that they can still access that part of them without pot and with psych meds?

I can just think about smoking some and it relaxes me. But it is too expensive, and I get really paranoid and can’t enjoy it fully, because it’s still illegal where I live.

Actually Klonopin clonazepam.

The first is a dopamine-channel-blocking anti-psychotic / major tranquilizer.

The second is a serotonin- and dopamine-channel stimulating anti-depressant.

The third is a short-acting, benzodiazepine-class (and therefor tolerance- and dependence-inducing) anti-anxiety med / minor tranquilizer.

What does the therapist do? Do you know the type of therapy he/she is using?

Many behavioral model psychologists – as opposed to medical model psychiatrists – see marijuana as an at least temporarily effective means of distracting the pt from his anxiety, vs. actually treating it.

The various active ingredients will do that for some people… but the other active ingredients may confound matters. Raw marijuana seems to be too multi-componential for most psych pts. And in the long run, statistically – though not absolutely or individually – more problem-inducing.

Some pts are helped. Others are not. One thing stands out: The extraction of the Cs from the other components may be “better” in the long run.

Strongly recommended if you haven’t found it already:

Will an anti-psychotic med counteract the affects of the THC in pot.

pot already makes you paranoid for fucks sake do you even know the side affects of pot? all i hear is oh it worsens my symptoms make me paranoid…POT ALREADY MAKES YOU PARANOID ITS A SIDE AFFECT SO STOP CRYING!

In the dopamine channels, yes, to some extent. But not like, say, buprenophine, naloxone or naltrexone. Anti-Ps and THC will confound more than counter each others effects in most cases.

**I would have to say no to the weed.
Sounds like he is on some good meds however. Therapy and excercise and diet will also help.
Stress will cause syptoms to flare up. He might need a higher dose of Klonopin during those periods.

Yes, I am more creative taking medication and avoiding recreational drugs like marijuana. I find that I am more clear-headed and able to access my creativity without pot.

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