Psychotomimetic and Cognitive Effects of Cannabis Use in the General Population
The induction of an overt schizophrenia-spectrum disorder is one of the most serious potential outcomes of cannabis exposure and one that rarely manifests among the millions of cannabis users worldwide. Less extreme but related, and also potentially debilitating outcomes that are experienced by a greater portion of cannabis users are psychotomimetic effects ( defined here as subclinical psychotic-like symptoms and experiences) and cognitive impairment. Psychotic experiences that are considered diagnostically subthreshold are similar to those that define a psychotic disorder, but are experienced in an attenuated form; transiently or selectively, and as such fail to meet criteria for a diagnosis. These are in fact relatively common in the general population, particularly among adolescents, and are experienced along a continuum (Linscott & van Os, 2013). There is substantial evidence that the likelihood of experiencing subclinical psychoticlike symptoms is significantly increased in cannabis users.