new study They found that Americans who regularly use cannabis and tobacco have about twice the risk of developing symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to non-users.
Lead researcher Nguyen Nguyen said: “Smoking cannabis or cigarettes does not help cope with anxiety and depression and may worsen mental health problems in the long term.” UPI. Mr. Nguyen is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
The peer-reviewed study, published Wednesday in Plos One, analyzed data from 53,843 American adults using data from a COVID-19 citizen science study. Men and women aged 18 and over completed an online survey. The survey included a section where participants could self-disclose information about their marijuana and tobacco use in the past 30 days.
Of those who responded to the survey, 4.9% said they only used tobacco, 6.9% said they used only marijuana, and 1.6% said they used both. Of those who used both, 26.5% reported anxiety and 28.3% reported depression. Among those who did not use either drug, 10.6% reported anxiety and 11.2% reported depression.
“Tobacco and cannabis users and cannabis users alone were associated with higher odds of developing anxiety and depression than nonusers and tobacco users,” the study said. “Using tobacco alone increases the likelihood of anxiety and depression compared to not using tobacco.”
The study acknowledged that the data they presented should be taken with a grain of salt and stressed that further research is needed before firm conclusions can be made.
“This study has several limitations. As previously mentioned, causal relationships between tobacco and cannabis use patterns and mental health disorders cannot be determined given the study design,” the study said, adding that the sample size and We note several limitations, including data collection methods. upon.
There are two limitations from this study that we would like to highlight. The first and most obvious is that response bias exists when surveying people online, especially when the topic is about cannabis use or illegal drug use. Second, these studies were conducted from 2020 to 2022, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, when mental health disorders overall increased significantly and A particular focus was placed on anxiety and depression. boston college:
“Researchers at Boston University confirm anecdotal evidence that the coronavirus pandemic is putting a strain on Americans’ mental health, finding that by November 2020, reports of anxiety were 50% lower, depression “We found that 44% of respondents had increased to 44%, a rate six times higher than in 2019,” according to a new report in the Journal. translational behavioral medicine” the report said.
I’d like to add a small caveat here: This study made several mischaracterizations of cannabis. The error was not necessarily in the data or the information gleaned from it, but in the language used to discuss cannabis in unrelated parts of the report. , something like this:
“moreover, Despite insufficient evidence regarding the therapeutic effects of cannabis“Nearly half of U.S. adults consider cannabis a self-medication for treating depression and anxiety symptoms,” the study says, adding to the significant increase in recent years highlighting cannabis’s many potential therapeutic effects. It ignores significant research.
Although the data showed that anxiety was more likely in participants who only used cannabis compared to participants who only used tobacco, another limitation of the study that Nguyen acknowledged was that anxiety People with ADHD often seek cannabis or tobacco as home remedies. As such, the whole thing becomes a chicken and egg situation.
“Current evidence supports both directions of the relationship between tobacco and cannabis use and depression and anxiety,” Nguyen told UPI. “There is evidence that tobacco or cannabis use contributes to anxiety and depression.”
It has become increasingly interesting to me, not without reason, that recently there has been some research reinforcing sentiments that the Ukus have known for years. I still hear my old friend Enrique, who used to take about 100 hits of acid a week, tell me that if I start singing the blues too often, I should lower my tobacco to marijuana ratio. . That seems like eight years ago. In any case, if you prefer to mix tobacco and cannabis, do not hesitate to consult your doctor, as such risks may increase.
“Coordinating tobacco and cannabis cessation with mental health treatment may be beneficial for people who use tobacco and cannabis together,” Nguyen said. “In addition, screening for tobacco and cannabis use should be implemented in mental health treatment settings.”