Marijuana Found Not to Affect Mood Disorders

01 Mar

By Marie Ellis

Marijuana Found Not to Affect Mood DisordersIn recent studies, researchers find no link between marijuana use and mood disorders.

He and his team say discrepancies between previous studies may be explained by varying age ranges, geographic locations, males vs. females or the number and type of mental disorders assessed.

More and more, states in the US are legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use, which has prompted further study into the benefits or risks associated with the drug.

On the positive side, one study recently suggested cannabidiol (CBD) – a compound in cannabis – could reduce seizures. And another study published last year showed that CBD can help bones to heal.

Other studies, however, are not as optimistic about the effects of marijuana. One study suggested teens who use cannabis are at risk of schizophrenia, while another claimed that a high-potency form of marijuana damages a key brain structure.

Marijuana use linked with risk of alcohol and drug use

To further examine how marijuana use could affect risk of mental health and substance use disorders in the general population, the researchers from this latest study used a nationally representative sample of adults in the US.

In total, 34,653 adults were interviewed in a 3-year interval as part of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

Results showed that, at 3 years follow-up, marijuana use was linked with increased risk of alcohol and drug use disorders, as well as nicotine dependence. There was no link between marijuana use and increased risk for mood or anxiety disorders, however.

The researchers caution that although their study does not demonstrate a causal link between marijuana use and new mental disorders, “these adverse psychiatric outcomes should be taken under careful consideration.”

They add:

“From a perspective of prevention, the lack of association between more frequent cannabis use with increased risk of most mood and anxiety disorders does not diminish the important public health significance of the association between cannabis use and increased prevalence and incidence of drug and alcohol use disorders (including nicotine dependence).”

Furthermore, they point out that smoking and alcohol consumption are the first and third leading causes of preventable death, respectively, which is why they urge caution in light of their findings.

Study limitations
Although the strength of the study lies in its large, nationally representative sample, the authors point to some limitations.

Firstly, due to the possibility of residual confounding, the study cannot make a causal link between cannabis use and new onset of disorders. Also, because the follow-up period was only 3 years, a longer follow-up period could have revealed different prevalence patterns.

Cannabis use was self-reported in the study, not confirmed by objective means, so this presents another limitation. Furthermore, although they included the most common mental disorders, the researchers did not assess some disorders.

Still, their findings are significant, and the researchers say “physicians and policy makers should take these associations of cannabis use under careful consideration.”

Medical News Today recently reported that although marijuana use is on the rise among young adults, the rate of increase is much lower than the “doubling” previously reported. Article Source

Related Continuing Education Course for Mental Health

In spite of the fact that nearly half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious. This course is intended to present a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. It will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. What are the known medical uses for marijuana? What is the legal status of marijuana in state and federal legislation? What are the interactions with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior? Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana a gateway drug? What are the adverse consequences of marijuana use? Do state medical marijuana laws increase the use of marijuana and other drugs? The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners.


Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590);  the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).


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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Continuing Education



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