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22 February 2016, 13:37
Good news? Not really...
Well this is rather interesting.
A major new study by Columbia University involving 35,000 American adults has found that Cannabis does not increase the risk of anxiety or depression.
The study asked participants to declare how much weed they smoked and then assessed their mental health three years later. They concluded that regular users did not have a higher rate of anxiety or depression than non-weed smokers.
They were, however, more likely to develop other drugs disorders. They were twice as likely to be addicted to cigarettes and three times more likely to have a problem with alcohol.
Is this a green light to roll up some blunts without feeling guilty about your health?
Well, we'd suggest not. Firstly, 3 years is not a long time to do a study on the 'long term' health affects of drugs. For example, what about people that have been smoking it for over 10 years? Or more?
We also wonder whether the survey took into account different types of weed. A study in England found that one in four new cases of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia might be the result of smoking very strong strains of cannabis. They believe that users who smoke skunk (a strain of weed) are five times more likely to suffer psychosis than those who haven't.
The study concluded that the strength of cannabis and the frequency are very important when accessing mental health risks. They give the example that the levels of THC, the active psychoactive compound, are about 15 per cent in skunk, compared with about four per cent in traditional other forms of cannabis like hash. That's a huge difference. We're guessing smoking 5 joints a day in comparison to 1 isn't the best idea too.
Confused? Us too. We think more longer-term studies will be needed before any concrete conclusions can be taken.