There’s more evidence for cannabis being linked to sarcasm than to increased psychosis or lowered I.Q.

Thanks to researcher Rielle Capler for alerting to the studies linking cannabis use to sarcasm. 

The evidence that links cannabis use to sarcasm is verified in multiple studies:


“Ratings of taped verbal interaction revealed that overall hostile communications shifted from overt criticism to sarcasm as the most frequently used indirect expression of hostility. … The present study also demonstrated a slight increase in sarcasm on the part of the marijuana-intoxicated subjects, a replication of previous findings from our laboratory.”

        – Marijuana and Hostility in a Small-Group Setting, Salzman, Bessel, van der Kolk, Shader, Am J Psychiatry 133:9, September 1976, pp. 1030-1031


“… consistent with previous reports, (2-5) increased sarcasm was reported on the Subjective High Assessment Scale.”

  1. Soloman C, van der Kolk B, Shader R: Marijuana and hostility in a small group setting. Am J Psychiatry 133:1029-1033, 1976
  2. Galanter M, Stillman R, Wyatt RJ, et al: Marijuana and social behavior: A controlled study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 30:518-521, 1974
  3. Babor TF, Rossi AM, Sagotsky G, et al: Group behavior: Verbal interaction, in Mendelson JH, Rossi AM, Meyer RE (eds): The Use of Marijuana: A Psychological and Physiological Inquiry. New York, Plenum Press, 1974, pp 61-72
  4. Salzman C, Kochansky GE, Porrino LJ: Group behavior: Hostility and aggression, in Mendelson JH, Rossi AM, Meyer RE (eds): The Use of Marijuana: A Psychological and Physiological Inquiry. New York, Plenum Press, 1974, pp 73-80                                                                 
  • Interpersonal Effects of Marijuana – A Model for the Study of Interpersonal Psychopharmacology, Janowsky, Clopton, Leichner, Abrams, Judd, Pechnick, Arch Gen Psychiatry – Vol. 36, July 1979, p. 784

There are no studies known that have contrary findings to these studies.


As for studies that attempt to establish a causal relationship between cannabis use and increases in psychosis or decreases in I.Q.;

When one looks at statistics in the general population, psychosis/schizophrenia rates have remained constant or perhaps declined a bit, while I.Q. tests are adjusted every year to account for the fact that people are getting smarter – it’s called the “Flynn effect.”

Further evidence against a simple causal explanation for associations between cannabis use and psychosocial harm relates to population patterns of the outcomes in question. For example, incidence of schizophrenia seems to be strongly associated with cannabis exposure over a fairly short period (four-fold to five-fold relative risks over follow-up of 10–30 years). Cannabis use appears to have increased substantially amongst young people over the past 30 years, from around 10% reporting ever use in 1969–70, to around 50% reporting ever use in 2001, in Britain and Sweden. If the relation between use and schizophrenia were truly causal and if the relative risk was around five-fold then the incidence of schizophrenia should have more than doubled since 1970. However population trends in schizophrenia incidence suggest that incidence has either been stable or slightly decreased over the relevant time period.

Psychological and social sequelae of cannabis and other illicit drug use by young people: a systematic review of longitudinal, general population studies

John Macleod, Rachel Oakes, Alex Copello, Ilana Crome, Matthias Egger, Mathew Hickman, Thomas Oppenkowski, Helen Stokes-Lampard, George Davey Smith, THE LANCET • Vol 363 • May 15, 2004 • p. 1585

“…if marijuana produces what seems like such a large jump in risk for schizophrenia, have schizophrenia rates increased in line with marijuana use rates? A quick search of Medline shows that this is not the case — in fact, as I noted here earlier, some experts think they may actually have fallen. Around the world, roughly 1% of the population has schizophrenia (and another 2% or so have other psychotic disorders), and this proportion doesn’t seem to change much. It is not correlated with population use rates of marijuana.

Since marijuana use rates have skyrocketed since the 1940’s and 50’s, going from single digit percentages of the population trying it to a peak of some 60% of high school seniors trying it in 1979 (stabilizing thereafter at roughly 50% of each high school class), we would expect to see this trend have some visible effect on the prevalence of schizophrenia and other psychoses.

When cigarette smoking barreled through the population, lung cancer rose in parallel; when smoking rates fell, lung cancer rates fell. This is not the case with marijuana and psychotic disorders; if it were, we’d be seeing an epidemic of psychosis.”

Maia Szalavitz, neuroscience journalist, July 30, 2007 11:25 AM

Reefer Inanity: Never Trust the Media on Pot


The Flynn effect is the substantial and long-sustained increase in both fluid and crystallizedintelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world from roughly 1930 to the present day. When intelligence quotient (IQ) tests are initially standardized using a sample of test-takers, by convention the average of the test results is set to 100 and their standard deviation is set to 15 or 16 IQ points. When IQ tests are revised, they are again standardized using a new sample of test-takers, usually born more recently than the first. Again, the average result is set to 100. However, when the new test subjects take the older tests, in almost every case their average scores are significantly above 100.

Test score increases have been continuous and approximately linear from the earliest years of testing to the present. For the Raven’s Progressive Matrices test, subjects born over a 100-year period were compared in Des Moines, United States, and separately in Dumfries, Scotland. Improvements were remarkably consistent across the whole period, in both countries.[1] This effect of an apparent increase in IQ has also been observed in various other parts of the world, though the rates of increase vary.[2]

Flynn effect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


See also:

Smoking weed DOESN’T cause psychosis in teens, after all

Read more:

It is a sad but true fact that academics that attempt to associate cannabis use with psychosis or lowered I.Q. are ignorant of – or ignore – the studies that indicate cannabis use rates have had no negative effects to the psychosis rates or I.Q. scores in the general population.