MENTAL HEALTH

Chronic cannabis use increases the risk of major depression and bipolar disorder up to FOUR TIMES

Chronic cannabis use significantly increases the risk of mental health problems and personality disorders, suggests a major study.

Research of more than 6.6 million people in Denmark found that those who were addicted to marijuana were up to four times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression or bipolar disorder.

They looked at people with cannabis use disorder (CUD), defined as unable to stop using the drug even though it was causing damage to their health and social life.

Cases of depression have increased in recent decades, linked to population growth and aging. But researchers warn that it could become more common as marijuana becomes more and more legal. It can be used recreationally in 22 US states.

Analysis of 6.6 million people found that chronic cannabis smoking increases the risk of psychotic bipolar disorder by 4.1 times and any type of depression by 1.8 times

Analysis of 6.6 million people found that chronic cannabis smoking increases the risk of psychotic bipolar disorder by 4.1 times and any type of depression by 1.8 times

Researchers found that 14% of people with cannabis use disorder were later diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Researchers found that 14% of people with cannabis use disorder were later diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Researchers at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark analyzed the medical records of people born between 1995 and 2021.

All participants were at least 16 years old. They all also came from Denmark, where the recreational use of cannabis is illegal but can still be accessed via the black market.

Participants’ medical records were checked for cannabis use disorder, histories of major depression, with and without psychotic features, and bipolar disorder with and without psychotic features.

Major depression is defined as feeling low or uninterested in activities you previously enjoyed for more than two weeks.

Bipolar disorder is a condition that causes episodes of mood swings that range from depressive to manic levels.

Psychotic features such as delusions, hallucinations, slurred speech, and agitation can accompany both disorders.

About 56,000 participants had cannabis use disorder.

Approximately 41% of these individuals have been diagnosed with major depression. Nearly all (96%) of these diagnoses were nonpsychotic major depression.

Risks for major depression were highest immediately following a diagnosis of cannabis use disorder but remained “significantly elevated up to five to 10 years after CUD,” the researchers said.

About 56,000 participants had cannabis use disorder.  Approximately 41% of these individuals have been diagnosed with major depression

About 56,000 participants had cannabis use disorder. Approximately 41% of these individuals have been diagnosed with major depression

Nearly all (96 percent) of the major depression diagnoses were for nonpsychotic depression

Nearly all (96 percent) of the major depression diagnoses were for nonpsychotic depression

The findings are in line with previous research that has shown significant links between cannabis use and depression, but not bipolar disorder.

The findings are in line with previous research that has shown significant links between cannabis use and depression, but not bipolar disorder.

They also found that 14% of people with cannabis use disorder were later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Again, the majority of patients (90%) had nonpsychotic bipolar disorder.

Cannabis use disorder has been associated with a higher risk of any type of bipolar disorder in men, with men three times more likely to suffer from the condition than 2.5 times in women.

This was the same for nonpsychotic bipolar disorder, with male chronic cannabis users three times more likely and female users 2.6 times more likely to be diagnosed.

The findings are in line with previous research that has shown significant links between cannabis use and depression, but not bipolar disorder.

The findings point to a “primarily psychotogenic effect of cannabis”, i.e. its ability to elicit a psychotic reaction which could include delusions, delusions and hallucinations.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive element in cannabis, acts on cannabinoid receptors and is believed to increase the risk of psychosis by disrupting the normal functioning of the part of the brain that processes information and determines behavior.

The researchers noted that “a consistent model of how cannabis might influence the development of affective disorders is lacking.”

There is also a lack of evidence that stopping cannabis use can reduce the risk of being diagnosed with a mental disorder, they said.

They said their findings show there is a need for “better understanding of the dose-dependent effects of cannabis use on the brain, cognition and behavior” and have implications for cannabis legalization.

The study was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Several studies have found links between cannabis and schizophrenia in the past, although the exact cause is unclear.

Marijuana can cause psychosis by affecting the way you think, make decisions, manage emotions and interact with reality.

It can also interfere with brain development in young people.

But it may be that people with schizophrenia simply use cannabis to relieve their symptoms.

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