General Article Cannabis users five times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, study finds

Topic Selected: Cannabis Book Volume: 399

Cannabis users are up to five times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-smokers, a new study shows. 

The class B drug has long been anecdotally linked with mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. 

But a study of more than a quarter of a million young adults in the US, run by the National Institutes of Health, assessed the strength of the connection. 

It revealed that around 3 per cent of the population who do not smoke cannabis and do not suffer from depressive episodes have some suicidal thoughts. 

But the prevalence of suicidal thoughts increased the more often a person smoked a joint. 

For example, seven per cent of people who smoked cannabis, but less than once a day, reported suicidal thoughts, rising to nine per cent for those who smoked the drug every day.

But 14 per cent of people with a diagnosed cannabis use disorder, who often smoked the drug several times a day, reported suicidal feelings, a five-fold increase compared to non-smokers.

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