Marijuana, Mood Disorder and Self-Harm: A Troubling Connection
Monday, June 28, 2021
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Substance misuse prevention experts in Ohio are raising the alarm about the dangers associated with marijuana use among teens with mood disorder.
According to research from the Ohio State University College of Medicine, adolescents and young adults with mood disorder who use marijuana are at a significantly higher risk of self-harm, suicide and overall mortality.
Bobby Persinger, deputy executive director of the Prevention Action Alliance, contended much more awareness is needed about the effects of marijuana.
"A lot of people are under the impression that marijuana use or cannabis use is harmless," said Persinger. "It is not harmless. There are risks associated with cannabis use disorder, especially in young people and those who experience some sort of mental health diagnosis."
The study found the risk for self-harm was three times higher, all-cause mortality was 59% higher, unintentional overdose was more than two times higher, and homicide was more than three times higher.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, teenage marijuana use is at its highest level in three decades.
But pro-cannabis organization NORML argues that other research shows no measurable difference in adolescent marijuana use over the past two decades.
Persinger said marijuana slows down the brain's processing, impacting basic functioning.
"It slows your thinking capabilities, it slows your reaction time," said Persinger. "If you already have a chemical imbalance because you have a diagnosis of depression, cannabis is going to further deter healthy and happy and safe decision making processes. "
Persinger noted that cannabis use could worsen the symptoms of mood disorder among teens, or interfere with treatments.
"We always talk about those moody teenagers, but when we're talking about mood disorders those are clinically diagnosable conditions," said Persinger. "Most commonly you think about things like depression or anxiety."
Research on medical marijuana use in the field of psychiatry is evolving, and there are indications it is beneficial in treating anxiety, PTSD and insomnia.
The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine 1/1/17
Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review BMC Psychiatry 1/16/20
Marijuana and Teens the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology 10/1/19
Marijuana Regulation and Teen Use Rates website the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORMAL) 5/1/21
get more stories like this via email
In Arizona, telemedicine is now not only available for humans but also for people's beloved animals. Last month Governor Katie Hobbs signed Senate …
Ruybal Fox Creek Ranch sits in a dramatic canyon in the foothills of southern Colorado's San Juan Mountains, right next to the Rio Grande National …
Health and Wellness
North Dakota officials are urging people receiving health coverage through a key public program to stay on top of their renewal if they are still elig…
Health and Wellness
Nevada has received an overall score of 43 in the nation for the health and well-being of its seniors in the state. According to the United Health …
A court hearing next week could help determine whether an eastern South Dakota mayor will face a recall election. Events are rare for this state…
Indiana ranks closer to the bottom of U.S. states where you will find healthy seniors living than the top, according to a new report. …
The last day of school for Texas kids is typically one of elation, but for children in rural areas with high poverty rates, it also can mean …
Virginia environmental advocates are not happy with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on the Clean Water Act. The ruling in Sackett versus E-P-…