Is Marijuana Use Linked to Suicidal Thoughts in Young Adults?

A new study on people ages 18 to 34 found a trend that links cannabis use to suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts.

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A recent CNN article discussed a study that suggests a link between cannabis in young adults and suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts. The study was conducted by the US National Institutes of Health, and it surveyed 281,000 people ages 18 to 34 who completed the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2008 and 2019. The survey asked questions about marijuana use or disorder, depressive episodes and suicidality, which includes suicidal plants or attempts.

The researchers found that trends in suicidality varied by the pattern of cannabis use. Even participants who use cannabis less than 300 times a year were more likely to have suicidal ideation than those who don’t use cannabis at all. Despite the trends that emerged from the study, it should be noted that the increase in suicidality observed in the study cannot be fully attributed to cannabis, especially given the burden of suicide on this age group. 

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