According to a survey-based study on cannabis and depression, cannabis use in the US has steadily increased between 2005 and 2017 and was twice as common among those with depression in the year 2017. Furthermore, the increase in cannabis use was more rapid among the population with depression.
About one-third of young adults with depression, between the ages of 18 to 25, reported using cannabis in the past 30 days. Furthermore, almost 19% of those studied with depression used marijuana in the past 30 days, compared to less than 9% of those without depression. Daily cannabis use among those with depression was almost 7%, while it was only about 3% of those without depression.
What Came First: Depression or Cannabis Use?
Since the passing of laws around the nation for medical marijuana use, the debate rages on whether depression is aided, or made worse, by cannabis use. The problem is that cannabis use and depression commonly co-occur, and finding out which one came first is a near-impossible task. Some studies say that cannabis may alleviate depression symptoms, while others expose downsides to its continued use. For example, cannabis use may cause a well-known phenomenon called “amotivational syndrome,” which causes individuals to become lazy and socially withdrawn, negatively affecting normal daily life functions.
Is Cannabis Use Worth It?
Environmental, genetic, and other factors are considered the root causes of depression, and the same is true for cannabis use. Some studies indicate that marijuana users are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than those who do not use it. Minimal evidence exists to support the statement that marijuana relieves anxiety and stress. Short-term use of marijuana can even cause anxiety or paranoia. Long-term use provides substantial evidence of an increased risk for developing psychoses such as schizophrenia. Furthermore, evidence points to an increase in suicidal thoughts and a potentially higher risk of depression. Substantial evidence has not been found to support the claim that cannabis decreases depression symptoms.
Looking for Help?
Research points to marijuana, or cannabis use increasing mental health problems as opposed to providing relief. Multiple studies link cannabis use and depression. Research shows that treating depression symptoms with cannabis or other substances such as drugs and/or alcohol does more harm than good. While depression can lead to coping through substance use, we want you to know that there are other ways to manage mental health in a safe and healthy way. At Fort Behavioral Health, we understand that addiction is often a secondary problem that stems from co-occurring psychological issues. We are committed to your individualized treatment, as we work with you to explore and heal the root of addiction, as a means of nurturing your long-term recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807.