More than once, researchers have linked regular marijuana use to mood and anxiety disorders. But a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is challenging some of those conclusions.
According to the Washington Post, the study combed through 35,000 records of adults who participated in an unrelated study on alcohol use. After analyzing the data of participants who were pot users in 2001 and 2002, and cross-referencing it with participants experiencing mental health problems in 2004 and 2005, researchers found “cannabis use was not associated with increased risk for developing mood or anxiety disorders.”
The study did find a correlation between marijuana use and substance-use disorders. But as The Post points out, this isn’t really surprising, because in order to develop a substance-use disorder, you have to be using a substance in the first place.
The study’s authors identify some limitations: the follow-up period was only three years, and the cannabis use was self-reported.
“Longer follow-up may have revealed different patterns of incidence or prevalence,” the study’s authors wrote. “Different patterns also might have been observed if we had excluded individuals who used cannabis in the past but stopped because they developed symptoms of a mental disorder.”
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