New study reveals that cannabis does not cause anxiety and depression
Cannabis does not increase the risk of developing anxiety or depression, a new study has found.
The study comes as a challenge to previous ones that have showed a clear link between the disorders and the use of the recreational drug.
Led by Dr Mark Olfson, of the Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute, the study is published in JAMA Psychiatry.
The researchers looked at the prevalence of marijuana use among 35,000 participants, then assessed their rates of mental health problems three years later.
However the study did find that cannabis users are more likely to become dependent on other substances, for example being alcoholics or smokers.
Users of the drug were found to be three times more likely to have alcohol problems and twice as likely to smoke cigarettes
And as smoking and alcohol consumption are the first and third leading causes of preventable death, respectively, the researchers have urged caution in light of their findings.
In the paper, the authors wrote: “Our study indicates that cannabis use is associated with increased prevalence and incidence of substance use disorders.
“These adverse psychiatric outcomes should be taken under careful consideration in clinical care and policy planning.”
Dr Amir Englund, a post-doctoral researcher in psychopharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, said: “The present study is a large study exploring the effects of cannabis use on future problems such as anxiety, depression and drug and alcohol addiction.
“They found that use of cannabis was related to increased risk of later addiction to alcohol, cannabis and other drugs. Cannabis was not related to anxiety or depression at follow-up.
“Of course a study such as this is unable to ascertain causality between cannabis use and later drug addiction, merely that a relationship exists.”
Medical News Today recently reported that although cannabis use is on the rise among young adults, the rate of increase is much lower than the “doubling” previously reported.