MMJ Is Shown to Reduce Pain and Opioid Use in Cancer Patients
by Chane Leigh
A fresh study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that cannabis consumption may trigger suicidal thoughts. Published in JAMA Network Open, the study’s findings also indicate that people who suffer from an underlying mental condition – and those who have a pre-existing risk for suicide – could be more open to using the plant.
Despite the fact that consumers may feel more inclined to use cannabis as a means of masking mental health problems, the latest research highlights how cannabis use may increase the risk of depression, as opposed to people who don’t use cannabis whatsoever. However, health professionals say the association between cannabis and suicidal thoughts is not that straightforward.
While the study bulks up an existing smorgasbord of evidence pointing to cannabis’ possible negative influence on mood, the risk of suicidal ideation is likely stimulated by various other factors, such as environmental and genetic impacts.
The NIDA’s study into the link between cannabis and suicidal thoughts would not have been possible without the cooperation of some 281,000 people. Participants, all of whom ranged in age from 18 to 34, were required to answer the Institute’s survey questions between the years 2008 and 2019.
Each participant was placed into one of the following four unique groups:
Specifically, the survey respondents were questioned on the following subjects:
Based on the findings, sporadic or frequent cannabis consumers are more likely to consider suicide than those who do not consume the plant. Even more surprising is the fact that the risk remains present even when a person is not suffering from depression — a mental condition that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), affects some 264 million around the globe. The study’s senior author and Director of the NIDA, Dr. Nora Volkow shared in an official statement.
“While we cannot establish that cannabis use caused the increased suicidality we observed in this study, these associations warrant further research, especially given the great burden of suicide on young adults… As we better understand the relationship between cannabis use, depression, and suicidality, clinicians will be able to provide better guidance and care to patients.”
Since its publication on June 22, 2021, the NIDA’s study on cannabis and suicidal ideation, titled, “Associations of Suicidality Trends With Cannabis Use as a Function of Sex and Depression Status,” has been stirring up plenty of industry debate. While many people depend on the plant to improve mental well-being, the Institute’s findings suggest that even among young U.S. adults without existing depression symptoms, cannabis use is heavily linked to a higher prevalence of suicidal attempts, thoughts, and related planning.
Listed below are some other key takeaways from the study:
Since previous studies have demonstrated cannabis’ ability to positively influence mental health, the NIDA’s research may come as quite a shock to advocates and lobbyists. Based on its ability to stimulate electrical activity inside the brain, cannabis has been shown to sharpen cognitive abilities. CBD has shown potential for relieving symptoms of dementia and schizophrenia.
Cannabis has even exhibited the potential to provide temporary relief from PTSD-related symptoms. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often associated with mood swings, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. One particular study, titled, “Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa,” supported cannabis’ ability to boost mental health.
The study involved experiments on animal models that were exposed to the non-psychotropic compound CBD (cannabidiol). After undergoing a number of trials, such as the elevated plus maze (EPM), forced swimming test (FST), and Vogel conflict test (VCT), researchers discovered that CBD was capable of relieving feelings of anxiety and depression.
The CBD-focused experiments confirmed that CBD interacts well with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor, all the while demonstrating the non-activation of neuroreceptors CB1 and CB2. This receptor binds serotonin — an essential hormone that stabilizes feelings of happiness and well-being.
Cannabis, despite the support of its therapeutic qualities, can cause changes in mood and perception, especially strains that are rich in the psychotropic compound THC. Longitudinal studies demonstrate that frequent cannabis use may increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder and depression in the long term.
Based on the recent NIDA research report, cases of daily cannabis use, past-year cannabis use disorder, and non-daily cannabis use are associated with a greater prevalence of past-year suicidal ideation in both sexes, but the risks are higher in women. Considering the disparities between each body of available research, further work is necessary to understand the complex association between cannabis use, mood disorders, and suicidal ideation.
Cannabis is a plant that has grown naturally on Earth for as long as humans have lived here. Despite the time it has spent flourishing on our planet, cannabis has not always been embraced…until now. Over the course of the last few years, the global cannabis industry has inflated into a $20 billion annual market….
For centuries, cannabis has connected people from all walks of life. It has been a bridge that has brought together people of all cultures. It has helped millions physically, mentally, and spiritually throughout time. This legacy is continued today. This plant gives hope to many people and helps many others find a higher quality of…
CBD’s growing legality across the U.S. and beyond has contributed to a swelling range of products. With the continued growth of the global market—which is expected to reach USD $6.36 billion this year—more people are feeling tempted to consume cannabis in different ways, such as by snorting it. But is this a good idea? While…
One of the arguments against the legalization of cannabis is that it may result in more impaired drivers on the road, but emerging research is indicating otherwise. While it’s true that cannabis impacts various driving-related skills, a recent study published in Preventative Medicine Reports found that states with legal cannabis actually had fewer impaired driving…
The legalization of cannabis is opening many doors in states that are embracing it. The industry is bringing positive change from healthier lifestyles, new hopes for medical freedom, and financial opportunities. However, not all changes spurred by the creation of a legal industry are necessarily positive. With legalization comes an increase in DUI charges. The…
Recreational cannabis is finally getting its moment, with New Jersey and Connecticut being the most recent states to announce the opening of…
WNBA star Brittney Griner got a trial date, medical cannabis was deemed “recession-proof,” and the SAFE Banking Act stumbled once again. Let’s…
All eyes are on the South as the United States experiences its next wave of cannabis legalization. Not surprisingly, Southern states have…