Teens acting a little unusual is nothing new. But if a teen starts telling you that people are out to get him, or someone “knows” about him or is watching him, consider it a huge red flag. This type of paranoia and suspiciousness is not normal. Pay close attention to their behavior, address them by name, and ask questions, especially if they start making delusional or outrageous statements. Johnny wrote in his journal, which we found after he died, that the mob was after him, his university was an FBI base, and everyone knew everything about him. He was diagnosed with “THC Abuse – Severe” in the mental hospital.
If schizophrenia or mental illness does not run in your immediate family, as is the case with us, your teen may be having a psychotic episode triggered using high-potency THC marijuana products, called Cannabis-Induced Psychosis (CIP). This schizoaffective-type behavior is frequently misdiagnosed by medical personnel as schizophrenia or bipolar, when the youth needs to be sober from marijuana for several months (and never use again) to let the brain heal and the psychosis subside. If sobriety isn’t obtained, it is possible to convert to a more permanent condition requiring lifelong medication with subsequent episodes.
One of the world foremost cannabis researchers, Sir Robin Murray of London, is one of Johnny’s Ambassadors Scientific Advisory Board members. He told the London Times in January 2022 that high-strength skunk (marijuana) causes about a third of the psychosis cases he sees at his practice in south London. Most involve young people, many of whom suffer debilitating paranoia and hallucinations. He said, “I think we’re now 100 percent sure that cannabis is one of the causes of a schizophrenia-like psychosis,” he said. “If we could abolish the consumption of skunk we would have 30 per cent less patients [in south London] and we might make a better job of looking after the patients we have.”
In a psychotic state, you must consider the safety of your child, yourself, and other family members and friends who spend time with your child. A psychotic break can also cause the sufferer to express anger, rage, and even violence. If you feel your safety or anyone else’s, including the youth’s, is at risk, call 911 immediately. Explain the youth appears to be mentally ill and is making delusional statements and tell responders if you know or suspect the youth is using marijuana.
Here is a list of research studies about the link between marijuana use and mental illnesses, including psychosis and schizophrenia. Read the heartbreaking stories of the hundreds of parents who have had this happen to their children. Join our private Parents of Children with Cannabis-Induced Psychosis (POCCIP) Facebook group if your child has been impacted.