Scientists have carried out research which uncovered further evidence the drug(cannabis), commonly smoked by youngsters, leads to poor mental health.

The findings, led by researchers from Finland, lend credence to sundry evidence that shows cannabis consumption can lead to the point of suicide.

The group of scientists from University of Oulo revealed the earlier someone begins smoking the drug, the more likely they are to develop psychosis.

The finding is coming in the wake of prominent warnings by campaigners that super-strength skunk has flooded Britain’s illegal market at a worrying rate.

Skunk, the potent form of the hard drug, is responsible for a quarter of new cases of psychotic mental illness, a landmark study two years ago declared.

However, the new research, published in The British Journal of Psychiatry, provides a further link between cannabis and psychosis.

In carrying out the research, more than 6,000 volunteers were tracked from their 15th birthday until they turned 30 to assess their risk of the condition.

Figures estimate that around one per cent of the population suffer from psychosis, which can cause delusions, such as hearing voices, and lead to severe distress.

An analysis, which involved PhD student Antti Mustonen, showed a link between smoking cannabis and going on to develop psychosis.

He said: “We found that young people who had used cannabis at least five times had a heightened risk of psychoses during the follow-up.

“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.’

Mr Mustonen, who worked alongside Cambridge and Queensland experts, added: ‘If possible, we should strive to prevent early-stage cannabis use.’

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