Research finds no association between pot use and mental health disorders.
Contradicting previous studies, new research just released is saying those adults using marijuana are not any more likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders than the general public, according to a Washington Post article.
Researchers evaluated the records of almost 35,000 United States adults who participated in the National Epidemiologic Survey on alcohol and Related Conditions, focusing on respondents who used marijuana between 2001 and 2002, and their mental health issues three years later in 2004 and 2005. The data was controlled with a variety of factors, including socio-demographic characteristics, family history and environmental concerns, as well as a past history of psychiatric disorders. The findings revealed the use of marijuana was not associated with an increased risk of developing mood or anxiety disorders.
The results did reveal, not surprisingly, an association with the use of pot and other types of substance abuse, such as a dependence on alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. It would seem those willing to use one substance will likely also try another similar type substance later in life.
Lead author of the study, Mark Olfson of Columbia University, said, “The findings concerning cannabis raise the question of whether alcohol use also contributes to the risk of subsequent substance use disorders,” but added that issue was beyond the scope of their study.
The findings tend to add new credence to earlier studies that discredit the connection between marijuana use and mental health issues, despite the federal government’s literature that claims links between the abuse of the drug and depression. According to the article, the government’s publication “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse” mentions depression at least 14 times and claims pot is linked to depression. New research of this type indicate the policy needs to be at least reviewed to reflect the most accurate and updated information.
Olfson and his study colleagues think some of the earlier studies showing an association between pot use and mental health issues could be confused with compounding factors and more research should be conducted to confirm.
The research has been published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.