May 4, 2016 5:35 PM

Study Disproves Belief That Cannabis Leads to Depression or Anxiety

Despite recent progress in marijuana legalization, there are still many negative stereotypes about cannabis that withhold people from using this plant. Thanks to a new scientific study published by JAMA Psychiatry, one more false myth about the link between cannabis and depression has been disproved.

Previously, extensive use of marijuana has been connected with mental health problems, but a new study has disclosed that there is almost no connection between these two things. In 2015, a large-scale study revealed that the consumption of strong cannabis strains could directly become the reason for psychotic conditions like schizophrenia. In contrast, the American scientists at Columbia University discovered that medical marijuana did not increase the risk of depression or anxiety progression. However, the study revealed other potential side effects of marijuana consumption.

During this study, the researchers examined 35,000 adults consuming marijuana. The participants were studied on the account of the frequency of cannabis use and rates of their problems with mental health. In three years, the scientists compared the current participant's mental conditions with their previous rates.

The findings show that cannabis consumers are not exposed to mental problems, but they have a higher risk to become addicted to alcohol or cigarettes. Moreover, the study also reveals that previous marijuana users are more susceptible to experience alcohol and drug abuse, as well as nicotine dependence. The scientists claim that weed users are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes and three times as likely to consume alcohol.

Renee Goodwin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, suggests that the study outcomes allow supposing that marijuana use may potentially increase alcohol addiction in the future. The results reveal a strong link between cannabis use and alcohol vulnerability that may cause alcohol use disorder even among those people who did not consume alcohol before.

The journal JAMA Psychiatry published this study last month, which generated lots of positive buzz among cannabis advocates. As the marijuana industry is gradually growing in the states with legalized cannabis, more and more medical patients are using this plant to treat many debilitating ailments, including cancer and epilepsy.

People who support medical marijuana use say this new study disproves the popular belief that cannabis may lead to common mental-health problems. Moreover, the results of this study are also important as they contradict with the federal government’s current literature on cannabis that underlines the connection between marijuana use and anxiety.

For instance, the official fact sheet on cannabis published by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) contains information that marijuana may lead to mental disorders. Moreover, a study conducted by the DEA in 2014 has more than 14 references to depression caused by weed consumption by adults, teens, and animals. The scientific proof published by JAMA Psychiatry casts doubt on the accuracy of the DEA claims and allows people to see the real picture of marijuana influence.

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