More Research on Adolescent Cannabis Use and Mental Disorders

The persistence of the association between adolescent cannabis use and common mental disorders into young adulthood

In summary

Further examination of chronic cannabis use in adolescents correlates with a higher prevalence of anxiety. Research discussing adolescent cannabis use and mental disorders has been inconsistent, mainly debating whether or not some mental disorders are caused by cannabis use. The featured article found no evidence of causation but did notice a positive correlation between chronic (described here as daily) adolescent cannabis use and the development of anxiety. The development of major depressive disorders was not positively correlated with cannabis use, even in regular users. Causation, especially for psychosis, should continue to be looked into in order to determine the full safety profile of cannabis-based medications. 

Adolescent cannabis use does seem risky when considering that cannabis directly affects the brain while the brain is still developing and very few researchers have published well recognized and accepted data discussing the effect of cannabis on neural development. It seems interesting that chronic cannabis use is positively correlated to the development of anxiety when the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid and multiple terpenes are praised for their anxiolytic effects. Research into the effect of each chemical component of cannabis should be researched to fully elucidate which cannabinoid or combinations of cannabinoids, terpenes, etc., cause alternations in neurodevelopment and other effects. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDMore Research on Adolescent Cannabis Use and Mental Disorders

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