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Marijuana use not associated with anxiety disorders


A new study suggests that the use of marijuana as an adult is not associated with anxiety disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder, SunSentinel reports.

The new research was published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Earlier research had shown that marijuana use is associated with depression and anxiety.

For the study, the researchers examined the records of nearly 35,000 U.S. adults who participated in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

The researchers examined the marijuana use among the study participants in 2001 and 2002. They examined on the participants' rates of mental-health problems three years later in 2004 and 2005.

The study found that "cannabis use was not associated with increased risk for developing mood or anxiety disorders."

However, the study did find a link between marijuana use and later substance-use disorders, such as abuse of and dependence on alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs.

The authors wrote: "Our study indicates that cannabis use is associated with increased prevalence and incidence of substance use disorders. These adverse psychiatric outcomes should be taken under careful consideration in clinical care and policy planning.", according to Irish Examiner.  

Olfson and his colleagues said that earlier evidence of links between marijuana and psychiatric disorders could be due more to confounding factors than anything else.

Olfson's research is "a strike against the hypothesis that cannabis uses causes mood and anxiety disorders," said Keith Humphreys, an addiction and mental-health specialist at Stanford University, in an email.

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