Does Cannabis Use Up the Risk for Psychiatric Disorders?

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Significantly associated with substance use, alcohol use, drug use disorders
Significantly associated with substance use, alcohol use, drug use disorders

HealthDay News — Cannabis use is not associated with increased risk of mood or anxiety disorders, but is associated with increased risk of several substance use disorders within the general population, according to research published online February 17 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Carlos Blanco, MD, PhD, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined prospective associations between cannabis use and risk of mental health and substance use disorders using data from a nationally representative sample of US adults. Adults were interviewed three years apart in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001 to 2002 (wave 1) and 2004 to 2005 (wave 2). The analyses were limited to 34,653 respondents who were interviewed in both waves.

The researchers found that cannabis use in wave 1 (reported by 1,279 respondents) correlated significantly with substance use disorders in wave 2 (any substance use disorder: odds ratio [OR], 6.2; any alcohol use disorder: OR, 2.7; any cannabis use disorder: OR, 9.5; any other drug use disorder; OR, 2.6; and nicotine dependence: OR, 1.7); no correlation was seen for any mood disorder or anxiety disorder. In the multiple regression analyses of wave 2 prevalent psychiatric disorders and in the propensity-score matched analysis of incident and prevalent psychiatric disorders the pattern of results was similar.

"Physicians and policy makers should take these associations of cannabis use under careful consideration," the authors write.

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