Pin It
clueless weed
Two very enthusiastic thumbs upvia Giphy

Cannabis does not cause anxiety or depression, says study

Recent research, conducted on 35,000 people, found NO link between weed use and mental health issues

Cannabis use apparently does not increase the risk of anxiety or depression, according to a new study.

Despite long being linked to problems in mental health, the drug may now have been dropped in the clear – with Columbia University finding no connection in a survey of 35,000 American adults. 

In the study, researchers reportedly looked at the amount of weed used by each participant, and then assessed their mental health three years later. According to the results, there was no sign that the frequent weed users were any more (or less) likely to be suffering from anxiety or depression. However, they did have a much higher chance of developing other drug disorders – with regular cannabis users three times more likely to develop problems with alcohol, and twice as likely to be hooked on cigarettes.

“Our study indicates that cannabis use is associated with increased prevalence and incidence of substance use disorders,” said the paper, which was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. “These adverse psychiatric outcomes should be taken under careful consideration in clinical care and policy planning.”

With cannabis slowly heading for legalisation in the US, the drug is becoming big business – and these results are the latest in a long line of similar studies. One, conducted toward the end of last year, found that smoking weed had no effect on your intelligence or IQ level. Another, which followed 408 people from the age of 14 through to 36, found that being a teen stoner would not make you any more likely to suffer from mental health troubles in later life. However, smoking the more severe strain, skunk, is a different story: with people apparently three times more likely to be struck with serious psychosis.

“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,” said Dr Amir Englund, a post-doctoral researcher in psychopharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London. “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.”