Study Finds Marijuana NOT Linked To Mood Disorders
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 02/23/2016 in Medical Marijuana Research
It used to be that if you indulged in a little doobie, you would likely come down with a paranoid case of reefer madness, but it looks like the propoganda of pot prohibition got yet another thing wrong, about cannabis — new research recently published in the journal of JAMA Psychiatry, reveals that contrary to previous belief, marijuana use by an adult is NOT associated with any of the variety of anxiety and mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder.
The study examined the records of almost 35,000 adults who participated in the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, recording the prevalence of marijuana use among the study participants in 2001 and 2002, and then evaluated the participants’ rates of mental-health problems, in 2004 and 2005.
After accounting for a variety of confounding factors, including family history and environment, past and present psychiatric disorders, and socio-demographic characteristics, researchers found that “cannabis use was not associated with increased risk of developing mood or anxiety disorders.”
The study did, however, find an association between marijuana use and later substance-use disorders, including abuse and dependence of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs. “The findings concerning cannabis raise the question of whether alcohol use also contributes to the risk of subsequent substance use disorders,” said Mark Olfson of Columbia University, the lead author.
Olfson says that given the conflicting picture portrayed by previous research, the mental-health findings are interesting, and are of the opinion that the prior evidence of links between marijuana and psychiatric disorders, was most likely due more to confounding factors, than anything else.
Keith Humphreys, an addiction and mental-health specialist at Stanford University, says Olson’s research is “a strike against the hypothesis that cannabis uses causes mood and anxiety disorders,” while noting that the new study does not address a preciously observed link between heavy marijuana use, and schizophrenia. But Humphreys says he believes that the casualty of that connection is far from unclear, “I don’t know if we will ever know because it’s just hard to predict rare events, and schizophrenia is rare.”
The study’s findings add to prior research also discrediting the connection between marijuana and common mental-health disorders — findings that are important, because current federal government literature on marijuana, claims that there is a link between marijuana and depression, claims that are both grossly inaccurate and misleading. In the 2014 publication of the Drug Enforcement Administration‘s (DEA), “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” depression is mentioned no less than 14 times, claiming that depression among adults, teens, and even dogs, is linked to the use of pot.
Considering that the information contained in the DEA’s documentation is used to inform policy at both the federal and state level, it is critical that the documents reflect the most accurate facts based on current respective research. Especially given the rapid speed of evolution, in the marijuana-policy landscape these days.