Pubdate: Thu, 18 Feb 2016
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2016 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post


New research published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found 
that using marijuana as an adult is not associated with a variety of 
mood and anxiety disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder.

This is a challenge to some previous research that has shown that 
marijuana use is associated with depression and anxiety.

The researchers examined the records of nearly 35,000 U.S. adults who 
participated in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and 
Related Conditions. They examined the prevalence of marijuana use 
among the study participants in 2001 and 2002 then checked on the 
participants' rates of mental-health problems in 2004 and 2005.

After controlling for a variety of confounding factors, such as 
socio-demographic characteristics, family history, environment, and 
past and present psychiatric disorders, the study found that 
"cannabis use was not associated with increased risk for developing 
mood or anxiety disorders."

But don't break out the celebratory blunt just yet. The study did 
find an association between marijuana use and later substance-use 
disorders, such as abuse of and dependence on alcohol, tobacco, 
marijuana and other drugs. But this isn't necessarily surprising: 
It's fairly obvious that if you use a substance, you're putting 
yourself at risk of a substance-use disorder.

People who use one drug often use others - think of the classic 
beer-and-cigarette combo. This is as true of marijuana as it is of, 
say, alcohol.
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