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A review of epidemiological surveys published from January 1980 through July 2020 has found that rates of depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may be higher in individuals with cannabis use disorder (CUD).
The review was led by Vivian N. Onaemo, who works for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health. Onaemo and colleagues analyzed data from surveys that were mainly conducted in the United States and Australia, reports Psychiatric News.
The review, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that the odds of having major depression were 3.22 times higher among individuals with CUD, while the rate of GAD was 2.99 times higher.
According to Psychiatric News, Onaemo and colleagues noted that some people with depression or anxiety may self-medicate with cannabis and the genetic or environmental vulnerabilities may predispose some people to mental health problems and substance use disorders. “However, irrespective of the pathway that led to the comorbid state and the high prevalence of the comorbidity, it does appear that once an individual has developed both [CUD and depression or anxiety], a vicious cycle may be at play where each disorder maintains or exacerbates the other,” researchers wrote, according to Psychiatric News.