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Nancy Schimelpfening

Marijuana and Depression Possibly Linked

By July 9, 2010

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According to a new study, children and teens who smoke marijuana may be at greater risk of developing depression later on.  The study does not make clear, however, whether marijuana itself is to blame.

For the study, researchers used data from more than 50,000 adults in 17 countries taking part in a World Health Organization mental health study.

Overall, a modest association was found between smoking marijuana before age 17 and later depression, with there being a 50% increase in the risk of experiencing an episode of depression after the age of 17.

The link remained even after the researchers controlled for other factors, such as recent marijuana use, smoking and drinking habits and history of mental health issues.

The link was weakened, however, when childhood conduct problems - such as skipping school, fighting and shoplifting - were considered.

According to lead researcher, Dr. Ron de Graf, this could imply that conduct problems may at least partially explain why marijuana use and depression are linked.  However, said de Graf, they were lacking data on conduct problems in certain countries, such as New Zealand and South Africa, so they could not make a full analysis of this link.

Another weakness in the study was that the participants were surveyed on a single occasion and had to rely on their memory of when they first smoked marijuana or experienced depression, rather than being followed over time, which would have provided a more accurate assessment of which came first, marijuana use or depression.

While it cannot be determined from this particular study whether marijuana use does in fact cause later depression, it is still possible, said de Graf, that marijuana use has important affects on mental health.  More studies are needed, he says, especially those which follow young people over time to see if they develop mental health problems after first using marijuana.

The study appeared online in the June 9, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Comments
July 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm
(1) Common Sense Police says:

NEWS FLASH-Carrying keys in your pocket and not getting mauled by tigers are possibly connected. It seems that since tiger attacks are possible while you are alive and most people carry keys with them and aren’t attacked every day, there may be a link between carrying keys and not getting bitten by a tiger! What a load of crap. Stop propagandizing American citizens with this drivel. The 1920′s called, they’d like their prohibition back. Sheeple.

July 14, 2010 at 5:57 pm
(2) Suzy says:

I wholeheartedly agree with this study! When I was a
teen, I smoked marijuana, pretty much on a regular
basis. I stopped when I was 21, but when I was about
23, I was diagnosed with Major Depression.

Fast forward about 10 years -I started smoking again
when I was about 33yo. I think my smoking was linked
to the guy I was dating at the time. But when I picked up smoking pot again, it was like I never stopped! At that time I was still taking meds, for my depression and I honestly thought that marijuana had no effect on my moods whatsoever but I know now that I was wrong!

About 10 years later at age 44, I was still smoking,
but was contemplating quitting, b/c I think it was bringing on a sleeping disorder on me and it was awful! I would sleep all day (at that time my kids were all grown, so there were no little ones to
chase after or watch), then, the next night, I would
stay up all night causing me to sleep all day the following day. This sleeping pattern went on for about 3 years until my husband suggested either a sleep study or to stop using pot and to just quit cold turkey.. I was in denial, as most addicts are with their addiction. I kept saying I had a sleeping
disorder and that pot had nothing to do with it. Ok well I finally quit smoking pot and my sleeping pattern was normal again! I was no longer in a fog nor did I feel like I was depressed 24/7. It didn’t take away my clinical depression, but it certainly took my “situational depression” away.

I just quit smoking last week, so I’m pretty new, to
this whole clean and sober thing. However the more I
am getting up at 9am, instead of sleeping the entire
day, I feel as though, yeah, it had to be the weed, and not a sleeping disorder. Obviously otherwise I’d
still be sleeping, regardless of pot or not pot!Right now I can only say I detest what marijuana did to me and my sleeping, my personality (my husband told me it made me act like a witch with a
“B”), and my outlook on life.

I’m so glad I quit b/c like the song goes “I can see
clearly now.”

July 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm
(3) jerome e. vigil says:

marijuana is the cure for depression i know for a fact i was on depression pills they don’t work. marijuana is the thing that helped. so stop dogging on marijuana it is a gift.

November 28, 2010 at 12:57 am
(4) j says:

Pot causes depression and somberness. Do your research stupid. obviously common sense policy and jerome are either to young or or way to into pot to understand the concept of modern science. Marijuana is called a downer for one reason. Try quitting after smoking for 15 years and lets see how happy you are during the following 30 days. Why do ignorant little kids always feel the need to comment on something they know nothing about. If this wasn’t cyber space id slap you both.

December 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm
(5) Jeff says:

Suzy- Maybe if you had a job during the day, or a job period you wouldnt sleep 24/7. Mary-J is a downer, therefor I smoke usually an hour prior to bed. I have noticed by smoking before bed, I sleep MUCH better. Im not a heavy user, or smoke the High-test grade shit. I smoke the basic, commercial crap. I dont see any issues…everyone has their own opinion on all different subjects…Just Legalize it.

February 8, 2012 at 12:25 am
(6) Anon says:

You guys who are still smoking pot do not know what you’re talking about. Most people I’ve spoken with who were former weed smokers told me they started experiencing a lot of paranoia towards the end of their use of the drug.

As for myself, after almost a year of smoking the stuff 2-4 times a week, I started experiencing powerful and disorienting paranoia, and panic attacks in some cases. I went cold turkey, and went through the worst episode of depression of my entire life. Took months to get past it, and even now, I still occassionally feel slightly depressed, but thankfully nowhere near as much. I never used to get like this before the weed. This stuff isn’t candy, people, it can seriously mess with your body if it doesn’t handle it well!

I think it should be legalized and treated as a health issue instead of a criminal one, but beware the negative side effects that many have experienced. You’ve been warned! But for those of who dealing with the awful aftermath (after quitting I mean) and are experiencing a lot of depersonalization/depression, it does EVENTUALLY pass in time, but you’ll need to stay the hell away from the stuff. It can even take months or longer to return to normal. As for myself, it took a long while

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