The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday, Feb. 14, edition that teens who use cannabis are at a higher risk of developing depression and suicidal behaviour in young adulthood, compared with those who do not use the drug, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
The Globe's Wency Leung writes that lead author Gabriella Gobbi, a researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, says:
"A lot of young students and parents are not informed about the risks of cannabis. They think it's a light herb because it's natural."
While previous research has linked cannabis to psychosis and schizophrenia, this new meta analysis investigates the impact of the drug on young people's risk of mood disorders and suicide. The findings provide further evidence to suggest cannabis may be particularly harmful to developing teenage brains.
While the researchers discovered the risk for anxiety was not statistically significant, they found daily-to-weekly cannabis use was related to a high risk for suicidal attempts, and a low to medium risk for developing depression.
For individuals, this risk of depression may be small, Dr. Gobbi says.
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