It’s widely known that smoking just half a joint of marijuana can induce schizophrenia-like effects in healthy people, however the biggest debate on the subject has been in trying to establish just exactly who carries the greatest risk.
However, we may now have the answer — according to research done by scientists at the University of Exeter and University College London, young people who carry a gene called “AKT1” are more prone to later developing psychosis due to smoking marijuana:
Professors Celia Morgan and Val Curran found that young people with variation in the “alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase AKT1” gene codes for a protein called RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (Akt1) experienced visual distortions, paranoia and other psychotic-like symptoms more strongly when “stoned”.
Prof Morgan, professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter, said: ‘These findings are the first to demonstrate that people with this AKT1 genotype are far more likely to experience strong effects from smoking cannabis, even if they are otherwise healthy.
‘To find that having this gene variant means that you are more prone to mind-altering effects of cannabis when you don’t have psychosis gives us a clue as to how it increases risk in healthy people.
‘Putting yourself repeatedly in a psychotic or paranoid state might be one reason why these people could go on to develop psychosis when they might not have done otherwise.(via)
Additionally, their research “also shows that female cannabis smokers are potentially more susceptible to short-term memory loss than men,” which would explain why I have the memory capability of a peanut and never manage to complete anything on my “To Do” list while stoned aside from eat spaghetti and fantasize about warm, oven-baked cookies…mmmmm, cookies.