An article titled “study links cannabis to psychosis” says in the first paragraph:
People who use cannabis in their youth dramatically increase their risk of psychotic symptoms, and continued use of the drug can raise the risk of developing a psychotic disorder in later life, scientists said.
Of course, later on in the article – which no-one will read up to – it says:
But scientists say it is not yet clear whether the link between cannabis and psychosis is causal, or whether it is because people with psychosis use cannabis to self-medicate to calm their symptoms.
This actually pisses me off. It is true, this isn’t no evidence that cannabis use leads to psychosis – just that cannabis use when young and psychosis later in life are positively correlated. There are a couple of causal mechanisms, the cannabis could cause the psychosis, cannabis use may be preferred by people who are more likely to develop psychosis.
I was going to wait till I read the study before commenting – but the scientists themselves appear to have admitted that they have found a correlation, and haven’t sorted out the causal mechanism. Which simply means that the article itself was purely misleading.
I realise having a headline “cannabis and psychosis are correlated, but the cause is unclear” is less likely to sell papers – but it is honest. The current headline is exciting, but it is dishonest – and merely feeds into current misconceptions in society, thereby providing misinformation. And I hate misinformation.