Nicotine & Caffeine Related Psychosis

Recent studies are showing that cannabis use is less likely to contribute to psychosis and is over 100 times safer than alcohol.  Findings suggest that other major contributors to psychosis may be unresolved traumatic events and socio-economic factors in a persons life such as poverty or suffering abuse. Less known is that commonly used cigarettes and coffee or tea may cause some people to have psychotic episodes.

Misinformation or lack of information could be causing medical professionals to overlook nicotine and caffeine as the source of a patient’s mental health problems. The legal situation and social acceptance of both these chemicals could play a part in wrongful diagnosis. This had us wonder if there were any cases where nicotine and/or caffeine psychosis had been wrongfully diagnosed as cannabis psychosis?

Unfortunately it is possible but we can only speculate.

A recent study in the U.K, Published in the Lancet Psychiatry, has found that the nicotine from tobacco smoke may cause a person to be more prone to Schizophrenia and psychotic episodes. Another commonly used drug – caffeine, which people use as a ‘pick-me-up’ can have negative effects in some people. Both are psycho-active in their content yet often not considered as contributors to mental health problems.

Nicotine Psychosis

The research team at King’s College London say smokers are also more likely to develop mental problems at a younger age. The analysis consisting of 61 separate studies suggests that nicotine in may be altering the brain.

“Smoking has long been associated with psychosis, but it has often been believed that schizophrenia patients are more likely to smoke because they use cigarettes as a form of self-medication to ease the distress of hearing voices or having hallucinations.

The team at King’s looked at data involving 14,555 smokers and 273,162 non-smokers.

It indicated:
◾57% of people with psychosis were already smokers when they had their first psychotic episode
◾Daily smokers were twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as non-smokers
◾Smokers developed schizophrenia a year earlier on average

The argument is that if there is a higher rate of smoking before schizophrenia is diagnosed, then smoking is not simply a case of self-medication.”  – Source BBC

Caffeine Psychosis

Lots of information can be found online about caffeine psychosis, we’ve taken our source from which is a free public resource that is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

“Caffeine intake is so common that its pharmacological effects on the mind are undervalued. Since it is so readily available, individuals can adjust their own dose, time of administration and dose intervals of caffeine, according to the perceived benefits and side effects of each dose.”

” in rare cases high doses of caffeine can induce psychotic and manic symptoms, and more commonly, anxiety. Patients with panic disorder and performance social anxiety disorder seem to be particularly sensitive to the anxiogenic effects of caffeine”


Recent studies are showing that cannabis use is less likely to contribute to psychosis than alcohol. Legal or not Alcohol, Caffeine and Tobacco should be considered as factors in a persons mental problems where applicable. Other contributors to psychosis may be unresolved traumatic events and socio-economic factors such as poverty or suffering abuse which should be considered also.