Smoking cannabis as little as five times as a teenager can lead to psychosis in later life, new research has shown.
The study from Finland, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, adds to the evidence that indicates the drug can lead to poor mental health, and in some cases, suicide.
The findings come amid reports that up to 94 per cent of cannabis in parts of England is highly potent ‘skunk’.
Researchers at the University of Oulu said there is a heightened risk of psychosis among those who have smoked cannabis at least five times.
Antti Mustonen said: “Our findings are in line with current views of heavy cannabis use, particularly when begun at an early age, being linked to an increased risk of psychosis.
“Based on our results, it’s very important that we take notice of cannabis-using young people who report symptoms of psychosis.”
Last year, mother Janie Hamilton revealed how cannabis-induced schizophrenia contributed to the death of her son.
She now travels around schools to warn children about the dangers of smoking the potent drug.
In recent years, research has increasingly shown the harmful side-effects of smoking cannabis.
A landmark study in 2015 revealed that daily users of ‘skunk-like’ cannabis were five times more likely to suffer from psychotic mental illness than those who never use the drug.