New study about ‘skunk’-induced psychosis – Rethink Mental Illness response

A new study by the Institute of Psychiatry suggests that 24% of new cases of psychosis are resulting from use of high potency ‘skunk-like’ cannabis.

In response, Mark Winstanley, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness said:

“People often think of cannabis as a safe or harmless drug, but this study clearly shows that smoking ‘skunk’ greatly increases your chances of developing serious mental health problems.

“Reclassifying cannabis isn’t the answer. What we really need to see is more education about the risks of using the drug, especially for younger people, who are particularly vulnerable. Essentially, smoking cannabis is like playing a very real game of Russian roulette with your mental health.”

For more information, please contact Brian Semple, News and Media Manager for Rethink Mental Illness, on 0207 840 3043 or

Notes to editors

Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness.

For over 40 years we have brought people together to support each other. We run services and support groups that change people’s lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness.

We directly support almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone.

We give information and advice to 500,000 more and we change policy for millions.

For more information go to