Adolescents who use marijuana (dagga) are at an increased risk for depression and suicidal behavior later in life even if they have no prior mood disorder, according to a study published in February in JAMA Psychiatry.
The researchers conducted an analysis of 11 studies with 23,317 individuals and found that about 7 percent of people in Canada and the United States between the ages of 18 and 30 suffer from depression and possibly suicidal behavior related to earlier cannabis abuse.
Adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of marijuana because the adolescent brain continues to develop until the age of 25.
Marijuana is the most commonly used recreational drug for teens worldwide, with more than 25 percent of adolescents in the United States using it monthly. The researchers hope the finding will spur public health organizations to develop preventive strategies to reduce marijuana use among youth.