Evidence is growing of marijuana’s association with psychiatric disorders, especially in young men, NBC News reports. Researchers in Denmark in collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health found evidence of an association between cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia. The finding was most striking in young men ages 21-30, but was also seen in women of the same age. Dr. Deepak D’Souza, a psychiatrist at Yale University who has been studying cannabis for 20 years, insists there are too many lines of evidence to ignore. “We may be grossly underestimating the potential risks associated with cannabis,” he said. However, the data available is based on observational studies and doesn’t directly prove cause and effect.
Studies are unclear on whether cannabis use during pregnancy is harmful, and yet many states have harsh punishments for cannabis use during pregnancy, Vox reports. Child abuse and neglect are two of the more common charges. Some states also have policies requiring that health care providers report drug use in pregnant people when they diagnose it. Three large observational studies showed that children born to mothers who’d used cannabis had differences that varied with age. In a 2020 review of relevant studies published since the mid-1980s, the authors called out many of these studies for weak methodology. The review authors concluded that overall, “prenatal cannabis exposure is associated with few effects on the cognitive functioning of offspring.” What’s more, they noted, even when abnormalities were identified, almost all were still within the range of normal.