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Teen Marijuana Use Not Linked To Depression

According to a study published by the American Physiological Association, teen marijuana use does not necessarily lead to depression or other mental health issues. While there are potential health risks associated with continued, long-term use of marijuana, the new research reveals that teens that start smoking marijuana in late adolescence are no more at risk of getting depression, lung cancer and numerous other mental or physical health problems than teens who stay smoke-free.


Teenager smoking pot/Image: VBBaglady


Lead researcher and psychology research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh medical center Jordan Bechtold said in a press statement: “What we found was a little surprising. There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence.”

Their project involved the study of over 400 males from the Pittsburgh locale between the ages of 14 and 36. 54 percent of the subjects were black, 42 percent of the subjects were white. 4 percent of the volunteers were from another racial or ethnic group.

The participants were separated into four different subgroups according to their personal marijuana use. The first subgroup was the nonusers and low-users. They made up 46 percent of the overall subject group.

The second subgroup consisted of those who smoked marijuana “regularly”. They made up 22 percent of the larger group/

The third subgroup was made up of those who smoked marijuana only as teenagers. They made up 11 percent of the overall group.

The fourth and final subgroups included those who began smoking cannabis during their teen years and continued to smoke it throughout their age was made up of the fourth group consisted of those who started smoking during their teenage years and continued using it throughout their adult years. They made up 21 percent of the larger group.

The investigative team discovered that the early and regular pot smokers also had “much higher overall” use of marijuana. They noted that the rapid increase in use occurred during their teen years and statistically peaked at approximately 200 says annually by age 22. Following this, however, marijuana use dropped to a small degree.

Bechtold concluded: “We wanted to help inform the debate about legalization of marijuana, but it’s a very complicated issue and one study should not be taken in isolation.”

Teen Marijuana Use Not Linked To Depression

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.