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Nancy Schimelpfening

Pot Smoking May Raise Teen Depression Risk

By October 17, 2011

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Pot smoking may increase the risk for depression in teens who are already susceptible to the disorder, according to a new study.

About two-thirds of the popular have a variant of the serotonin gene that increases depression vulnerability, said the researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.  When data were collected from 428 families containing two teenage children each,  a strong association was found between marijuana use and depression symptoms in the teens having this particular gene variant.

Even when other factors were taken into account, such as smoking, alcohol use, upbringing, personality and socioeconomic status, the link remained strong.

"Some people might think that young people with a disposition for depression would start smoking cannabis as a form of self-medication," said the authors, "and that the presence of depressive symptoms is therefore the cause of cannabis use.  However, in the longer term that is definitely not the case.  Although the immediate effect of cannabis may be pleasant and cause a feeling of euphoria, in the longer term we observe that cannabis use leads to an increase in depressive symptoms in young people with this specific geneotype."

The study was published online in the journal Addiction Biology.

October 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm
(1) Bob says:

Based on my 30 years of continuous sobriety, and having a late diagnosis with BP II, ADD, PTSD, post traumatic serious brain injury and years later getting reasonably stable on meds, this article makes good sense to me. It makes sense based on my former addiction to pot that ruined my more brain cells, especially after the TBI I had.

October 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm
(2) samantha says:

I’m glad u posted this Bob. My son is a substance abuser and was diagnosed w/bipolar II in 2008. It’s sad ppl don’t ‘learn’ consequences until it is too late and they r much older. My brother has TBI and will never live on his own again. Substance abuse played a major role.

October 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm
(3) Ric Gene Watson says:

Actually, it would be a whole lot safer – antidepressants are deadly. People are dying 25 years earlier due to the damage they inflict on the body – they cause early senility, liver, kidney and heart damage. You should really read Robert Whitaker’s books, “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and “Mad in America” plus Dr. Timothy Scott’s “America Fooled”. Psychiatry and psychiatric drugging are the biggest frauds ever perpetrated in this country’s history.

November 7, 2011 at 9:20 am
(4) Caroline says:

I understand and hear your point. I think that Cannabis isn’t a safer option to some people. To those that are predisposed to bad effects of the drug it would not be safer for them to take it. There has also been documentaries of the same effects that you are talking about with Anti-Depressents use as very much identical to long term heavy Cannabis smoking. So I guess it’s 6 of 1 and half a dozen of another. But an interesting item you raised and one I may well look into. Thanks.

November 7, 2011 at 9:11 am
(5) Caroline says:

My Therapist recently told me about a major research study having been taken regarding a thorough investigation into the true effects of Cannabis.

Firstly I was one of the many that have a bad reaction to smoking it and was subsequently hospitalized at age 19 with Cannabis Psychosis.

And secondly, I totally agree with this article that some teenagers with this Gene are predisposed to Depression when smoking the drug because when I started at age 14 I started getting depressed very badly and it is now only years later that I have made this link.

I just wish there were much more, and I know they are trying, awareness and deterrants against smoking Pot in the first place. Time and time again I have heard smokers say “Oh, Cannabis is nothing”, it isn’t, people can be greatly harmed by it and I just want more ‘noise’ made about it.

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