The use of cannabis in adolescence is associated with an increased risk of depression after adolescence, according to a new international scientific study. Scientists estimate that one in 14 cases of depression in individuals under 35 (7% of these incidents) could be avoided if they had not used cannabis at an early age.
While until recently the attention of scientists has focused on the role that cannabis play in psychosis, much less is known about whether its use increases the likelihood of more common disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
Researchers from the McGill University of Canada and Oxford, led by the psychiatry professors Gabriela Gobi and Andrea Chipriani respectively, who published the publication in the American Journal of Psychiatry JAMA Psychiatry, analyzed data from 11 scientific researches from 1993 recently, which involved a total of 23,317 people.
The meta-analysis concluded that the use of cannabis by adolescents significantly increases (by 37%) the risk of depression and suicidal tendencies, but not of anxiety when they have reached the age of majority. Although personal risk is relatively limited, given the increasing use of cannabis (m*******a) internationally, then the size of the problem is becoming more and more alarming, according to the researchers.
According to EU figures, more than 17 million people aged 15 to 34 (14.1% of this age group) used cannabis in 2018, although there are significant differences from country to country in Europe.
“Although the magnitude of the negative effects of cannabis may vary among adolescents, it is not possible to predict the exact risk for each adolescent, but the widespread use of cannabis by the younger generates an important public health issue,” he said. Ciprian.
“Frequent use of cannabis during adolescence is associated with worse school performance, addiction, psychosis, neuropsychological problems, increased road safety, and respiratory problems associated with smoking,” he added.
The most active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for most effects on the psyche and has addictive properties. It is believed that cannabis can change the normal neurodevelopment of the teen brain.