Marijuana continues to be legalized across the U.S., with 22 states and Washington, D.C., allowing for the legal use and sale of the drug. With that, there seems to be a general consensus that marijuana (aka cannabis) is a relatively harmless drug. But a new Columbia University study suggests otherwise, especially for teens.
The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), analyzed data from more than 68,000 teens involved in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which collects data each year on tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and mental health.
The researchers discovered that non-disordered cannabis use (i.e., using marijuana but not being addicted to it) was about four times more common than cannabis use disorder (a condition where people are unable to stop using marijuana even though it causes health and social problems in their lives).
But the researchers also found that both were “significantly associated” with psychiatric disorders.
Specifically, teens who use cannabis recreationally were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression and to have suicidal thoughts than those who don’t use pot at all. Teens who have cannabis use disorder were four times more likely to have mental health disorders than non-users.
The researchers also found a link between cannabis use and poor…