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Marijuana and Madness
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  • 14 b/w illus. 10 tables
  • Page extent: 236 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.63 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 615/.7827
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: RC568.C2 M375 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Marijuana--Physiological effect
    • Marijuana--Psychological aspects
    • Marijuana abuse--Complications
    • Psychoses--Etiology
    • Schizophrenia--Etiology

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521819404 | ISBN-10: 0521819407)

This book provides a comprehensive overview of the psychiatry and neuroscience of Cannabis sativa (marijuana), with particular emphasis on psychotic disorders. It outlines developments in our understanding of the human cannabinoid system, and links this knowledge to clinical and epidemiological facts about the impact of cannabis on mental health. Clinically focused chapters review not only the direct psychomimetic properties of cannabis, but also the impact consumption has on the courses of evolving or established mental illness such as schizophrenia. A number of controversial issues are critically explored, including whether a discrete 'cannabis psychosis' exists, and whether cannabis can actually cause schizophrenia. Effects of cannabis on mood, notably depression, are reviewed, as are its effects on cognition. This book will be of interest to all members of the mental health team, as well as to neuroscientists and those involved in drug and alcohol research.

• Comprehensive overview of the effect of cannabis on mental health • Encapsulates the understanding of the human cannabinoid system • Applies knowledge of the human cannabinoid system to an understanding of the underpinnings of psychotic illness


1. The cannabinoid system: from the point of view of a chemist Raphael Mechoulam and L. Hanu; 2. How cannabis works in the brain Leslie Iversen; 3. Acute and subacute psychomimetic effects of cannabis in humans David Castle and Nadia Solowij; 4. The association between cannabis use and depression: a review of the evidence Louisa Degenhardt, Wayne Hall, Michael Lynskey, Carolyn Coffey and George Patton; 5. Cannabis and psychosis proneness Helene Verdoux; 6. Is there a specific 'cannabis psychosis'? Wayne Hall and Louisa Degenhardt; 7. Cannabis as a potential causal factor in schizophrenia Louise Arseneault, Mary Cannon, John Witton and Robin Murray; 8. Cannabis abuse and the course of schizophrenia D. H. Linszen, Lieuwe de Haan and Bart Peters; 9. The endogenous cannabinoid system in schizophrenia Suresh Sundram, Brian Dean and David Copolov; 10. A cannabinoid 'model' psychosis, dopamine-cannabinoid interactions and implications for schizophrenia Cyril D'Souza, Hyung-San Cho, Edward Perry and John H. Krystal; 11. Motives that maintain cannabis use among individuals with psychotic disorders Catherine Spencer; 12. Addressing cannabis abuse in people with psychosis Wynne James; 13. Residual cognitive effects of long-term cannabis use Harrison Pope, Jr. and Deborah Yurgelun-Todd.

Prize Winner

2005 British Medical Association First prize in the mental health category 5/10/05 - Winner


'Each chapter is well written and well presented … There is little doubt that the chapters are expertly written … Marijuana and Madness illustrates clearly the benefits of a multi-disciplinary perspective in providing the tools for answering a complex question.' Addiction

'I believe the book is a must even for the smallest institutional mental health or drug dependency services library. Individual practitioners specialising in drug problems and those specialising in schizophrenia would do well to have their own copies.' Australian Medicine

'The chapters are compact but filled with quality research and sophisticated, in-depth analysis. The authors do not oversimplify or overemphasize the evidence. We congratulate them on their accomplishment and recommend this book enthusiastically for all clinicians and researchers interested in substance related issues.' JAMA

'I found this an interesting compilation of research covering a poorly understood area of great clinical relevance. Doctors who work in this field could bring themselves up to date on a large body of research by reading this book.' MJA

'… this is an excellent and up-to-date reference text for any professional with an interest in cannabis use and its links to psychopathology. All the chapters are extremely well written, the references are comprehensive and up to date, and it is a credit to the international group of contributors. This is an easy-to-read, evidence-based review of cannabis and is important in view of its increasing consumption especially by young people. This is indeed the informed person's guide to marijuana use and its adverse sequelae.' Bulletin of the World Health Organization

'… provides an excellent and unparalleled overview of current evidence-based thinking about cannabis and psychotic disorders, and should be read by anyone involved in clinical practice or research with people who suffer serious mental illness and also use cannabis. And let's face it that is probably most of us.' Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

'I devoured this academic yet compulsive book as I would a novel, unable to release it until it was finished. … I strongly recommend this book to anyone … I anticipate it being a vital aid to teaching for many years to come.' British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing


Raphael Mechoulam, L. Hanu, Leslie Iversen, David Castle, Nadia Solowij, Wayne Hall, Louisa Degenhardt, Michael Lynskey, Carolyn Coffey, George Patton, Helene Verdoux, Mary Cannon, Louise Arseneault, John Witton, Robin Murray, D. H. Linszen, Lieuwe de Haan, Bart Peters, Suresh Sundram, Brian Dean, David Copolov, Cyril D'Souza, Hyung-San Cho, Edward Perry, John H. Krystal, Catherine Spencer, Wynne James, Harrison Pope, Jr., Deborah Yurgelun-Todd

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