Notably, because much less is known about the genetics of schizophrenia in non-white populations, the study’s analysis was limited to self-reported white participants. This study, while limited in scope, is an important step forward in understanding how cannabis use and genetics may interact to influence psychosis risk. Researchers hope this research can lead to greater awareness of the connection between cannabis and psychosis and the potential risks of using this substance. This research offers a window into a future where genetics can help empower individuals to make more informed decisions about drug use.
This study is just one of many projects led by CAMH researchers who are exploring the unique risk factors for mental illness in young people. Since psychosis most often appears in people between the ages of 15 and 25, CAMH prioritizes the study of this age group to develop targeted ways to diagnose symptoms at the earliest stages. When psychosis is detected and treated early, young patients can potentially avoid a lifetime of disability and serious mental illness.
CAMH is home to the Slaight Family Centre for Youth in Transition, the first centre in Canada dedicated to understanding and treating severe mental illness, including addictions, in teens and young adults.