Sir Robin MacGregor Murray, MD lecture on “Marijuana, High Potency Cannabis, Synthetic Cannabinoids: Increasing Risk of Psychosis”

Description: Both genetic and environmental factors are involved in causing psychotic conditions like schizophrenia. A proportion of people who develop psychosis have had cognitive and behavioural problems from early in life: this route into psychosis is secondary to neurodevelopmental abnormality. An alternative route arises from abuse of certain drugs. Thus, amphetamine and methamphetamine are well known to induce a paranoid psychosis; abuse of phencyclidine and ketamine can mimic the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. More importantly, there has been growing evidence linking marijuana use to psychosis. The studies of young people in the general population have shown that those who use marijuana (cannabis) have a greater risk of developing psychosis than non-users. Some people appear genetically susceptible, and those who start using in their early teens appear also particularly vulnerable. This talk will report the research result on the link between psychosis and tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), cannibidiol (CBD), high potency cannabis (skunk), and synthetic cannabinoids.

Bio: Dr. Robin Murray is Professor of Psychiatric Research at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College and indeed has spent most of his working life there apart from one year at NIMH in the USA. His particular interest is in psychosis, and he and his colleagues have contributed to the understanding that environmental factors such as obstetric events, drug abuse and social adversity dysregulate striatal dopamine and thus increase the risk of psychosis; he is currently most interested in gene-environmental interactions. He is also involved in testing new treatments for psychotic illnesses, and cares for people with psychosis at the Maudsley and Bethlem (formerly Bedlam) Hospitals. He has written over 700 articles, not all of them boring! He is the most frequently cited psychosis researcher outside the USA. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010, the fourth psychiatrist ever to be elected (the first was Freud). In 2011, he received a knighthood from the Queen for his work in psychiatry.

Please see the flyer for additional dates and venues.


Cubberley Community Center

4000 Middlefield Road, Room H-6 Palo Alto, CA 94303


Presented by the South Bay Project Resource and the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network

[email protected]



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