New study finds ​marijuana doesn't cause clinical anxiety or depression

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
The History of the Terms Cannabis and Marijuana in America

Marijuana doesn't get the best rap when it comes to mental health. Past research has shown it causes short-term paranoia. Another study found that high-potency cannabis — or "skunk" -- could be directly responsible for one in four new cases of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia.

But the results of a new, widespread study offer some slightly more chill news: Despite what you may have read, cannabis does not increase your risk of developing mood or anxiety disorders.

See marijuana laws by state below:

51 PHOTOS
Marijuana laws by state
See Gallery
New study finds ​marijuana doesn't cause clinical anxiety or depression

Alabama

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Dennis Macdonald via Getty Images)

Alaska

Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use 

(Photo: Zoonar/N.Okhitin via Getty Images)

Arizona

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: TaylorB90/Flickr)

Arkansas

No legalization of any kind 

(photo: yorkfoto)

California

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images)

Colorado

Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use  

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Connecticut

Marijuana legalized for medical use 

(photo: Shutterstock)

Delaware

Marijuana legalized for medical use 

(photo: Shutterstock)

Florida

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Georgia

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Hawaii

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Idaho

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Illinois

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm)

Indiana

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Iowa

No legalization of any kind

(photo: yorkfoto)

Kansas

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Kentucky

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images)

Louisiana

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Maine

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

Maryland

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Massachusetts

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

Michigan

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

Minnesota

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: anthonylibrarian/Flickr)

Mississippi

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Medioimages/Photodisc via Getty Images)

Missouri

No legalization of any kind 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Montana

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: J.Stephen Conn/Flickr)

Nebraska

No legalization of any kind 

(photo: Shutterstock)

Nevada

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

New Hampshire

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

New Jersey

Marijuana legalized for medical use 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

New Mexico

Marijuana legalized for medical use 

(photo: Shutterstock)

New York

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

North Carolina

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Getty Images)

North Dakota

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Ohio

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Oklahoma

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Oregon

Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use  

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Pennsylvania

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Henryk Sadura)

Rhode Island 

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Shutterstock)

South Carolina

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

South Dakota

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL/Flickr)

Tennessee

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Texas

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Utah

No legalization of any kind 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Vermont

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

Virginia

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Washington

Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use 

(photo: Shutterstock)

West Virginia 

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: dk_photos via Getty Images )

Wisconsin

No legalization of any kind 

(photo: Kubrak78)

Wyoming

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Space Images via Getty Images)

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

To conduct their study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of approximately 35,000 U.S. adults. They started by gauging the group's marijuana habits; three years later, they analyzed the group's mental health status.

Countless people report feeling anxious when they use marijuana. "Does anyone else get really bad anxiety when smoking weed?" one marijuana user asked Reddit. "It sort of seems like my anxiety started to come out much more after smoking weed for a while."

"During prom I ate an edible, had a panic attack and hid in the bathroom for three hours," another user responded.

And yet, when the researchers adjusted their findings for several covariates, they found "cannabis use was not associated with increased risk for developing mood or anxiety disorders," according to the study.

"During prom I ate an edible, had a panic attack and hid in the bathroom for three hours."

But the findings weren't all positive. Weed may not increase your likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder, but it was linked to a "significantly increased risk for developing alcohol, cannabis and other drug use disorders," according to the study. That included nicotine dependence, too.

Folks who reported using cannabis were nearly three times more likely to have an alcohol use disorder or other drug use disorder, and nearly two times more likely to have nicotine dependence, according to the study.


When it comes to the gradual legalization of marijuana across the U.S., the researchers suggested that policymakers should take their findings into account.

"Our findings suggest caution in the implementation of policies related to legalization of cannabis for recreational use," the researchers wrote, "as it may lead to greater availability and acceptance of cannabis, reduced perception of risk of use and increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes, such as substance use disorders."

h/t The Telegraph

More from Mic:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners