University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Cannabis-Induced Catatonia in a 15-Year-Old Male: A Case Report

Trevor Gauthier, BS; Pradeep Bangalore Prakash, MD; Drew Keopple, NP; Ralph Vardis, MD

WMJ. 2023;122(2):131-133.

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Introduction: Catatonia is a syndrome of primarily psychomotor disturbances most common in psychiatric mood disorders but that also rarely has been described in association with cannabis use.

Case Presentation: A 15-year-old White male presented with left leg weakness, altered mental status, and chest pain, which then progressed to global weakness, minimal speech, and a fixed gaze. After ruling out organic causes of his symptoms, cannabis-induced catatonia was suspected, and the patient responded immediately and completely to lorazepam administration.

Discussion: Cannabis-induced catatonia has been described in several case reports worldwide, with a wide range and duration of symptoms reported. There is little known about the risk factors, treatment, and prognosis of cannabis-induced catatonia.

Conclusions: This report emphasizes the importance of clinicians maintaining a high index of suspicion to accurately diagnose and treat cannabis-induced neuropsychiatric conditions, which is especially important as the use of high-potency cannabis products in young people increases.

Author Affiliations: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin (Gauthier); Pediatric Critical Care, Hospital Sisters Health System, Saint Vincent Children’s Hospital, Green Bay, Wisconsin (Prakash, Keopple, Vardis).
Corresponding Author: Trevor Gauthier, phone 715.927.2306; email; ORCID ID 0000-0003-3991-4566
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
Acknowledgements: This case report was presented as both a poster and a brief presentation at the Wisconsin Regional Pediatric Critical Care Consortium at Marshfield Children’s Hospital in Marshfield, Wisconsin on May 17, 2022.
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