Using cannabis during adolescence can cause a higher likelihood of experiencing mental illness in adulthood, according to a new study.
A team of researchers from the University of Oxford and McGill University recently preformed a meta-analysis of previous cannabis studies to find out how youth cannabis consumption affects the development of depression later in life. The analysis involved evaluating data collected from 23,000 people by 11 international studies published since the mid-90s. Data from individuals who had previously showed signs of depression or had a family history of the condition were excluded from the data.
After reviewing those stats, researchers found that consuming cannabis regularly before the age of 18 is associated with a 37 percent increase in the risk of developing depression by the age of 35.
"This is important information for parents and teenagers," study author Andrea Cipriani told BBC. "The risk is modest, but it can have a devastating impact."
The researchers also discovered that due to marijuana's widespread popularity among young people, over 400,000 individuals in the US are at increased risk of developing depression due to their adolescent cannabis consumption.
"Although the size of the negative effects of cannabis can vary between individual adolescents and it is not possible to predict the exact risk for each teenager, the widespread use of cannabis among the young generations makes it an important public health issue," said Cipriani.
Cipriani and her co-authors stopped short of suggesting there was a definite causal relationship between youth cannabis consumption and the development of depression, which could stem from a number of other factors. Instead, they simply state there is a clear and strong correlation between the adolescent cannabis use and depression.
H/T: Science Alert