Link between teen use of Marijuana and Depression

In a study that was released on Wednesday, February 13th in the Journals of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed a link between adolescent use of marijuana and depression and suicide.  A summary of the article in HealthDay stated;

Pot may be particularly dangerous for the teenaged brain; a new review suggests.

Not only were those who smoked marijuana more likely to suffer depression and suicidal thoughts, they were also more than three times as likely to attempt suicide between the ages of 18 and 32.

The Canadian study on adolescents less than 18 years old screened 269 articles, 35 were selected for further review and 11 studies comprising almost 24,000 individuals were analyzed.   The results showed that the odds of developing depression as a young adult were 37 percent higher for those who used marijuana in their teen years compared to those who didn't, the findings showed.  The odds of a young adult thinking about suicide were 50 percent higher in those who smoked pot. The odds of a suicide attempt were almost 3.5 times higher in the pot smokers versus those who didn't use marijuana, the investigators found.

It is important to note that the study did not find a cause-and-effect relationship, not all teens that use marijuana will be affected.  But teen brains are still in the stages of development and further study of this issue is called for.

One of the things we see at Gobi are teens using marijuana to self-medicate.  We think that there are healthier and cheaper choices.  Meditation, yoga, playing music, working out or just enjoying solitude don’t cost nearly as much and are good for you.  We see teens getting stressed, we hope families can encourage healthier choices to deal with it.