Apparently, the gub'mint has released a statement that depression and marijuana are not to be mixed, particularly in people between the ages of 12 and 17. Is it based on sound science, though?
While drug use in anyone under the age of 18 is completely idiotic, the report is poorly cited and makes poor logical conclusions:
Nowhere in the paper are the citations even mentioned, and to my knowledge, a lot of people use drugs because they're depressed - biochemically, however, THC binds a cannabinoid receptor - CB1 - neuropharmacologists are currently debating the causality of the correlation of psychotic symptoms and THC (for the record, since neuropharmacology is an entirely different field of neuroscience than the field of neuroscience which I am studying, I can only give my personal experience - I have known a few stoners, and to my knowledge, they are not psychotic). The most common hypothesis is the self-medication hypothesis, which attributes the use of marijuana among depressed individuals to substance abuse by many who are mentally ill and who do not have access to the proper treatment. More disturbing is the list of statements made by the DEA without assessment of information:
Millions of American teens* report experiencing weeks of hopelessness and loss of
interest in normal daily activities, and many of these depressed teens are making
the problem worse by using marijuana and other drugs. Some teens use marijuana
to relieve the symptoms of depression (“self-medicate”), wrongly believing it may
alleviate these depressed feelings. In surveys, teens often report using marijuana
and other drugs not only to relieve symptoms of depression, but also to “feel good,”
or “feel better,” to relieve stress, and help them cope.
However, recent studies show that marijuana and depression are a dangerous
combination. In fact, using marijuana can worsen depression and lead to more
serious mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and even suicide.
Weekly or more frequent use of marijuana doubles a teen’s risk of depression and
anxiety. Depressed teens are more than twice as likely as their peers to abuse or
become dependent on marijuana.
Alarmingly, the majority of teens who report feeling depressed aren’t getting
professional help. They have not seen or spoken to a medical doctor or other
professional about their feelings. For parents, this means they need to pay closer
attention to their teen’s behavior and mood swings, and recognize that marijuana
and other drugs could be playing a dangerous role in their child’s life.
Two million teens report feelings of depression and loss of interest in
daily activities during the past year.
Depressed teens are twice as likely as non-depressed teens to use
marijuana and other illicit drugs.
Depressed teens are more than twice as likely as their peers to abuse
or become dependent on marijuana.
Using marijuana can cause depression and other mental illnesses.
Marijuana use can worsen depression and lead to more serious
mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and even suicide.
Teens who smoke marijuana at least once a month are three times
more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-users.
The percentage of depressed teens is equal to the percentage
of depressed adults, but depressed teens are more likely than
depressed adults to use marijuana and other drugs.
Teen girls who use marijuana daily are more likely than girls who do
not use marijuana to develop depression.
There the feds go again with their causality. I wonder if NIMH and NINDS have started any sort of stink about this - SAMHSA is independent of the NIH, though, which is highly suspect, and their citations don't say anything about causal implication.
Here's the report - though I do not condone or support marijuana use by anyone who is not legally an adult, I think it is fallacious and idiotic to make unsupported statements about a drug . Sphere: Related Content