Marijuana and Depression: Teen Use Not Linked to Depression, Study Suggests

New findings published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that contradictory to previous studies, teen marijuana use is not linked to physical or mental health issues.

“What we found was a little surprising,” said Jordan Bechtold, researcher and a psychology research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, “There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence.”

The study tracked 4-year-old males from a Pittsburgh public school starting in the late 1980s. For over 12 years, the participants were surveyed either once or twice a year. The last survey of the 408 participants was in 2009-10, when they were around the ages of 36.

The participants were put into one of four groups, including the following: those who picked up the habit as an adult (21 percent); those who rarely or never used marijuana (46 percent); chronic users who started using the drug early (22 percent); and those who smoked marijuana only in their youth (11 percent.)  Findings revealed that chronic marijuana use by boys was not linked to health issues like asthma, depression and psychotic symptoms later in life. Furthermore, the study results also revealed no link between teen marijuana use and lifetime anxiety, depression, allergies, high blood pressure and/or headaches.